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SYNDONE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Syndone biography
Founded in Turin, Italy in 1989 - Still active as of 2018

Nico (Nik) Comoglio born on 28/11/62 (Turin, Italy) was graduated as architect but at the same time privately studied piano and composition. Still in University he created several jingles for ads and soundtracks for two semi-professional movies.

From 1990 to 1993, he formed the new prog band, "Syndone" ("Shroud"), with whom he recorded two CD's: "Spleen" and "Inca", produced by Beppe Crovella from "Arti & Mestieri" band, for the music label Vinyl Magic s.a.s. in Milano. Two other members were Paolo Sburlati- drums, and Fulvio Serra- bass.

Spleen - 1992

This CD is the story of a young man (Kiin) who experiences spleen (sad mood) everyday because of his inability to adapt to society and to the rules it imposes on him. It's a bit like the young boy of Pascoli's poetry: pure, perennially a child, suffering because reality is too hard for him.

The pettiness and the violence of the world, the total submission to a materialistic and oppressive father and the gradual loss of all the values he believes in projects Kiin into a parallel world of music; in fact, it will be through music and inspiration - personified by a young woman (Marianne) - that he will rediscover his values and the strength to begin to live again.

The music is based on vintage 70-s keyboards and all sound is similar to classic RPI of that time. Tony Seffusatti (accordion), Patrizia Caramazza (voc), Alessandra Piovera (voc.) were participated in album recording.

Inca - 1993

The second - and final - album of the group Syndone , Inca is definitely the one which comes closest to the acoustics and the progressive rock composition style of the 1970's. Inca isn't a concept album like Spleen, but brings independent, seemingly unrelated pieces together. The only unifying element is a more or less deliberate celebration of the indigenous South American civilization, its rituals and its holocaust.

On Inca, keyboardist Edo Rogani (ex- Empire) joins the original trio of Syndone. Brought in as support during live performances, he's become an integral part of the group and bring in sound characteristic dual keyboards attacks. Hammond, Moog and other keyboards built ELP - like atmosphere with slight jazzy arrangements, not-too-complex compositions and often bombastic vocals.

Later Nik disbanded...
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SYNDONE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SYNDONE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 22 ratings
Spleen
1992
3.15 | 27 ratings
Inca
1993
3.93 | 58 ratings
Melapesante
2010
4.20 | 62 ratings
La Bella Ť la Bestia
2012
3.93 | 148 ratings
Odyssťas
2014
3.80 | 80 ratings
Eros & Thanatos
2016
4.03 | 160 ratings
Mysoginia
2018
4.04 | 14 ratings
Kama Sutra
2021

SYNDONE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SYNDONE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SYNDONE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SYNDONE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SYNDONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kama Sutra by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2021
4.04 | 14 ratings

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Kama Sutra
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by alainPP

4 stars SYNDONE, as a reminder to the holy relic of Turin, is the Italian group releasing their 8th album, starting in 1992 their musical adventure for an energetic jazz-sympho-prog-rock trip, starting on ELP, QUEEN, AREKNAMES; cosmic hard rock, vintage moog and hammond, Nick has worked on pub jingles before and sets a symphonic tone based on keyboards, an album title about the Love of Life and its governing forces. A particularity, that of associating classical and opera with rock like QUEEN in its symphonic and baroque version, crazy and controversial. Hop, let's slide in. SYNDONE recently known with 'Mysoginia', always looking for sounds from my favorite band.

"It's gonna make believin '" with a bit of MOUNTAIN, the madness of opera and crazy pop, zest of BOSTON for alluring synths, in short, cosmic hard psyche to DEEP PURPLE and the madness of DARKNESS, title erectile tote. "Nirvana" continues with a baroque space-opera madness that refers to the creation of a QUEEN, it is said; burlesque vocal harmonies, a vintage keyboard, a pleasurable 'Phantom Of Paradise' musical. "Carousel" follows with a musical interlude worthy of a maelstrom; symphonic grandiloquence, majestic air on uncompromising musical art, charisma-like madness of the first GENESIS. "Into the kama" arrives, an intimate bucolic piano flirting with a romantic ballad dripping with spleen; soft duet voices that melt, evolving jazz-prog tune, the flute adds a layer, the tune referring to a progressive QUEEN, sublimely creative with the surprising oriental finale. "Bitches" and that cutesy classic title, a capella vocals charmeuse oriental or nun or both; syrupy violin like 'Gone with the Wind' and bang a festive, psychedelic groovy tune; strings add to the intensity and the madness, it starts in vocal and musical cries, surprising.

"You still shine" attacks on a tune which resembles a jazzy improvisation, xylophone forward; it merges on genres, it recalls the progressive forays of the great QUEEN with this proven grandiloquence, bluesy air, hysterical gospel and final intimate variation which launches "Sex toys are us" full of synths and samplers for uncompromising and unrestrained prog; a little raga, vocal spoken on a hard rock tune quickly amplified by a sax coming straight out of the PANZERBALLET. The symphonic at its peak; and "2 thousand 10" for the second instrumental interlude, tambourines and acoustic guitar, a metronomic tune that puts the ears down. "Sacred & profane" occurs and radically changes register, soporific jazzy air, latent, that denotes; hard-to-pinpoint pop musical chorus of musical madness; the second drawer seems to be getting improvised, eclectic with lots of layered genres, vintage keyboards and bass bring some meaning back to the longest and most exploded track, John LORD in thought. "We are the world we created" for the title which refocuses the album, majestic variation and symphonic anthem at the same time, voice ŗ la Joe PAYNE, a little bit of THE ENID in the background, of ELP too; singular creation for a dithyrambic end. "Peace on Earth" for the final romantic ballad like a melancholy happy ending.

SYNDONE has produced a hard-hitting, hard-to-access album, a mix of bombastic baroque rock, symphonic and crazy and irresistible rock opera; Broadway musical drama and comedy, majestic sounds, bluffing titles that undoubtedly bring back to progressive rock; a musical theater has just been born and may not leave you alone given the research that is his.

 Mysoginia by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 160 ratings

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Mysoginia
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by alainPP

4 stars SYNDONE or the Italian progressive rock of good quality, or the prog rock that is desired! SYNDONE, which with its 5 albums (in fact 7!), Had since 1992 and its "Spleen" set the tone with music filled with very cold style, very bewitching too! SYNDONE, with Nick and Riccardo at the helm for a style of music oscillating between avant-garde jazz, convoluted symphonism, energetic and electric prog rock straight from? Italy; we go to Peter HAMMILL, ELP and AREKNAMES for the dark and romantic side, but also and this is where it gets interesting towards RAINBOW for the voice and towards QUEEN, yes QUEEN for the voice and the musical textures. SYNDONE quite simply a group apart in the progressive world.

Question titles, an instrumental intro to lay the foundations of the following compositions with a little of everything, flirting towards symphonic jazz but not only, and which allows to get a good idea of ​​the SYNDONE sound, that is reassuring from the start! "Red shoes" with his voice a la D. WILSON or a J. TURNER sublime voice and a bluffing air passing to different genres, including the typical AYREONnesque organ. "Caterina" with a station wagon straight out of the first steps of PINK FLOYD. "12 minuti" and his snub to "The Millionnaire Waltz" of the legendary QUEEN with its almost intimate ending, cozy and theatrical atmosphere. "Evelyn" always on F. MERCURY in jazzy hard rock opera and progressive mode at will, and her vocal convolutions leading to a charleston aria! "Mysoginia" sends us to orchestral symphonic jazz with a second aerial instrumental on the first part followed by a sequence taken from a BOF. "Women" draws frankly on notes of the 2nd generation GENESIS (no, not "Abacab" but almost !!), and on the musical games of an ELP of the great era; it is for me the tube of the album! "No Sin" with his minimalist piano and his tortured, frail voice, accompanied by a plaintive violin, then assisted by a fruity synth and later by a highly energetic guitar solo, all this on a masterfully orchestrated crescendo ; to note here again a grandiloquent final evolution with symphonic notes. "Amalia" ends this CD on a ballad one could say, on a simple piano arpeggio once again on the 1st part of the title and then on a musical hymn, on a soft voice-synth melody where thousands of violins mingle: again and again a theme used for film soundtracks. The last minute resumes al dente, uh a capella the air on the piano alone.

In short, this album is confusing, far from the prog of the 70's, and yet throughout it, notes, airs, tunes, hymns, melodies come and go and avoid leaving a messy atmosphere detected at the 1st listening; the different breaks between each title or even within the same title finally give the signature of this "mysoginia" invaded by musical contrasts, film music tunes, fruity tones where each instrument goes at one time or another take the front to better bring the place to another; a real jazz-prog progression! It is obvious that this album needs several listening to be able to let pass the emotion which simmers in it.

 Mysoginia by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 160 ratings

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Mysoginia
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars Italian progressive rock band Syndone ('Shroud') was formed by keyboard player Nico (Nik) Comoglio in the early Nineties, and they released a couple of albums before he decided to go off and pursue other avenues. But he formed a new version of the band to release 'Melapesante' in 2010 and since then the band has released a new album every two years, of which 'Mysoginia' is the latest, being released in 2018. Here is a band very much in the classic Italian model, with plenty of keyboards (they do actually have a second keyboard player in the band which is somewhat unusual), songs sung in Italian (although somewhat controversially there one performed in English), plus loads of dynamics and theatricality. At times this feels almost operatic, at others far more theatrical as if it is being performed either on a stage or as a backdrop/soundtrack to something far more visual (shades of Goblin perhaps).

Singer Riccardo Ruggeri pours his very soul into his performance, and it does feel much more like a performance than just a singer behind a microphone. The drama is palpable, the intensity of it all being far more than just another album. These guys are baring themselves to the public, while also performing classical symphonic progressive rock. That they also use both a choir and symphony orchestra feels both right and almost expected in the way the music is performed. It does feel very dated indeed, which is often the case with this style of progressive rock in that it is almost always the total reverse, but there is plenty here to enjoy. This is the first time I have come across the band, and look forward to discovering some of their earlier works as well, if this is anything to go by.

 Mysoginia by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.03 | 160 ratings

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Mysoginia
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars Notable Italian group Syndone, founded by Nik Comoglio, formed in the very early Nineties, with an expanded line-up delivering a selection of constantly more ambitious symphonic works since that time, 2014's `Odysseas' being their first showing of true greatness. While their latest `Mysogonia' is not a concept album as such, the nine pieces all share a mutual branching theme of women, in some cases the songs highlighting the way love, lust, obsession, depression, jealousy in themselves and suspicion from others affect their lives, and Syndone's keyboard-dominated music, often heavily influenced by legendary British rock group Queen, is presented in conjunction with a multi-piece orchestra here. The words alternate between Italian and English in the vocals, not a feat that often turns out well from Italian prog acts attempting a worldwide crossover appeal, but fortunately we have an incredibly talented group of performers here that pull it off far more successfully than numerous others have.

Opening instrumental `Medea' instantly grabs attention with its dramatic and eclectic mix of sounds. Gigi Rivetti's pristine piano is quickly met with sweeping orchestration weaving in and out, the piece picking up in tempo as it's blasted with Maurino Dellacqua's murmuring bass, Marta Caldara's busy percussion and sparkling electric piano all laced with a jazz-fusion fire and manic avant-garde daring. What a peppy and energetic introduction this is, reminding of the ambitious fusion of strings and rock music that legendary Seventies Italian progressive acts such as Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Latte e Miele and the New Trolls all implemented on various albums!

For the first song piece here, `Red Shoes' controversially offers an English lyric, although thankfully Ricarrdo Ruggeri still delivers all the proper Italian passion and theatrical flair in his wild vocal! It's a punchy rocker that's really an ode to freedom and love, pumped full of Nik Comoglio's scratchy Hammond organ, whirring Minimoog and sultry slivers of strings. `Caterina' begins as a sombre gothic piano-led ballad with a mournful vocal and confronting lyric about an innocent woman convicted of witchcraft in 1617 before ultimately turning defiant with all manner of spiralling keyboard colour (lovely flute contributions from New Trolls member Vittorio De Scalzi throughout this one too).

`12 Minuti' is a hilariously melodramatic and comical prance about a female serial killer with a swooning vocal and playfully quirky instrumental backing that dials the early Seventies Queen influences right up, and `Evelyn' is an overwhelming ballad detailing a suicide, the piece laced with so many reflective little details and lifted high by guest vocalist Viola Nocenzi soulfully crooning alongside Riccardo. The title track `Mysoginia' races with aggressive Hammond organ, grumbling bass and Martino Malacrida's smashing drum attacks with deliriously frantic break-neck runs of keyboard fury behind a female-fronted choir, and `Women' is a strident mid-tempo English-sung melodic rocker that somewhat reminds of English pop-proggers Muse in its more anthem-like moments but with an added retro Seventies keyboard-overload touch.

Queen fans will notice that much of the vocal and instrumental melody of `No Sin' seems lifted from `The White Queen (As It Began)' off their `Queen II' album from 1974, but there's such a tender affection to Riccardo's romantic vocal (he probably sets the standard for English sung on an Italian prog disc on this track), and there's some great extended passages of jazzy soloing from all the players throughout the remainder of the piece (with guest guitarist Gigi Venegoni really standing out here). Two-part closer `Amalia' begins as a classically inspired instrumental of elegant violin, heartbreaking piano and evocative string swells, but ultimately it becomes a gloriously warm and embracing farewell ballad.

Once again, Syndone has released a vibrant, dramatic and endlessly lavish symphonic work in `Mysogonia', and its mix of first-rate musicianship, unpredictable arrangements, thoughtful lyrics and charismatic vocals is endlessly captivating. Fortunately the dual languages do not detract from the album in this instance, and the disc not only proves that there's a damn good reason why Syndone is one of the most highly regarded Italian prog groups currently active, but it proves to be one of the most exciting and luxurious discs from that country of 2018.

Four and a half stars.

(note - Syndone offering both English and Italian lyric translations in the CD booklet is to be highly commended, as it's a great way to welcome intimidated newcomers to Italian progressive music, and it's something more Italian bands should consider doing in the future!)

 Melapesante by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.93 | 58 ratings

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Melapesante
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars The Italian prog formation Syndone made two albums in the Nineties, Spleen from 1992 and one year later Inca, fuelled by multi-instrumentalist Nico Comoglio. He studied on a very high level science and architecture, got private lessons in piano and composition and decided to go his own way in modern music. After Syndone he played blues, did soundtracks and commercials for television and wrote compositions for classical musicians. And then, in 2010, Nico Comoglio released a third Syndone album entitled Melapesante, as the only original band member. During my first listening session I quickly conclude that Syndone has mastured, the music sounds way more captivating and dynamic than the previous Nineties efforts. And I like the passionate Italian vocals by Riccardo Ruggeri.

The first composition Melancholia D'Ophelia delivers a swinging rhythm and an impressive Emersonian Hammond sound, along spectacular slightly distorted synthesizer soli. In the more dreamy parts the Hammond organ evoked Procol Harum, wonderful.

Then the titletrack featuring beautiful work on keyboards and a swirling violin solo, JL Ponty comes to my mind.

In the other tracks Syndone showcases a pleasant and varied instrumentation, from flute, classical guitar and vibraphone to a brass section and a hobo. And the one moment it is 24-carat symphonic rock with vintage keyboards (Hammond and Moog), the other moment a piano is blended with avant-garde.

My highlight is the epic Magritte (17 minutes) that alternates between mellow and bombastic, Classic Prog, ELP reigns.

Another strong composition is the final track 4 Hans Piano Boogieprog featuring virtuosic Emersonian piano runs.

After this strong comeback Syndone released four other praised albums, between 2012 and 2018.

Interesting new Italian prog bands:

Andrea Orlando - Dalla Vita Autentica

O.A.K. - Giordano Bruno

Una Stagione AlL Inferno - Il Mostro Di Firenze

 Eros & Thanatos by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.80 | 80 ratings

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Eros & Thanatos
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian project SYNDONE was formed by composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio back in 1987, but took an extended break following two initial album releases in the early '90s. From 2010 and onward this project has been a going venture again however, releasing a new studio album every other year or thereabouts. "Eros & Thanatos" is the most recent album by the project, released in 2016 by the Italian label Altrock Records' Fading imprint.

Those fond of well made symphonic progressive rock of the keyboards dominated variety should find this latest album by Syndone to be well worth checking out. A certain taste for the Italian variety of the style, complete with theatrical vocals and dramatic effects, is most likely needed to get the most out of the album, but in this case these aspects aren't explored to any greater extreme and as such won't limit the overall appeal of this recording to any great extent.

 Eros & Thanatos by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.80 | 80 ratings

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Eros & Thanatos
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Master of theatric (almost operatic) storytelling through music NICK COMIGLIO is back with another eclectic blend of sounds and styles, often based in classical or jazz idium, but enhanced/embellished by electronic twists and effects, theatric Italian vocals (Riccardo Ruggeri), frequent contributions from the vibraphone (Marta Caldera), and very solid drum and bass play--thanks to Martino Malacrida and Maurino Dellacqua, respectively. Unfortunately, the music sometimes feels a bit formulaic, rooted in rote traditions and borrowed progressions and styles, though the bombast factor seems more reined in (or more polished and finessed) than on the previous Syndone album.

Five star songs: 1. "Frammento" (1:01) (9/10); 4. "Gil spiriti dei campi" (5:27) (9/10), and; 7. "Alla sinistra dei mio petto" (3:08) (9/10).

Four star songs: 9. "L'urio nelle ossa" (7:15) (8.5/10); 5. "Qinah" (6:10) (8.5/10); the MYRATH-sounding 8. "Fahra" (3:19) (8.5/10); 3. "Terra che brucia" (5:26) (8/10); 11. "Cielo di fuoco" (7:38) (8/10), and; 10. "Bambole rmk" (4:15) (7.5/10).

A nice addition to a prog rock music collection--especially if you know and like theatric Italian prog.

 Eros & Thanatos by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.80 | 80 ratings

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Eros & Thanatos
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Italian symphonic band Syndone have been steadily improving since emerging at the start of the Nineties, beginning to hit their stride with `Melapasante' six years ago and offering a number of superb works since then. Initially a solo alias name for keyboardist Nik Comoglio, the group stepped up in a big way and had their profile amongst the progressive rock community raised with the deliciously lavish `Odysseas' in 2014, and one of the most addictive and best Italian discs of that year it was too. Since then the project has expanded with several more musicians being implemented who have all delivered an equally fine work with 2016's `Eros and Thanatos'. Taking its name from the personifications of love and death in ancient Greek mythology, it contains all the fanciful orchestration, booming keyboard-domination and Queen-like operatic vocals of the previous few albums that fans should adore, and it even boasts guest contributions from former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and Roy Thomas of the Moody Blues!

After a brief distorted vocal a-cappella introduction, `Area 51' launches straight into the furious E.L.P/Le Orme-flavoured keyboard heavy instrumental pomp the band is known for, full of quirky whirring synth soloing, heavy drumming, groovy jazz- fusion flecked guitar smouldering and murmuring bass all delivering maddening spiralling themes. `Terra che Brucia' begins as a delicate classical guitar and creaky Mellotron ballad behind Riccardo Ruggeri's Freddie Mercury-esque croon that culminates in a heavy booming organ, twitching keyboard and sweeping orchestration finale. `Gli Spiriti dei Campi' is a rapturous piano-led jazzy ballad that surprisingly reminds of Zeuhl-originators Magma (yes, really!) with lengthy improvised breaks, the schizophrenic `Qinah' is a delirious outburst of heavy soloing and histrionic vocals, and there's melancholic fuzzy guitar soloing over strings in the finale of `Duro Come La Morte'.

Both `Alla Sinistra Del Mio Petto' and `Fahra' are welcome shorter breaks, the first a delicate piano, vocal and bass interlude, the latter peppered with Mediterranean and ethnic flavours grafted to ravishing acoustic guitars and brooding group vocals. `L'Urlo Nelle Ossa' is a beautifully sung swooning acoustic ballad full of warmth that rises impeccably in drama with climbing orchestration and Roy Thomas' subtle flute, the piece eventually revealing a soft gothic quality. `Bambole' (a remake of an earlier Syndone piece from their 1993 album `Inca') jumps around from bombastic rock, symphonic majesty and jazz-fusion dreaminess, and listen for Riccardo taking on a shredding Osanna-like vocal power in the finale! Steve Hackett then delivers a masterclass guitar solo that weaves throughout the warm Hammond organ and sobering cello of thoughtful and grandiose album closer `Cielo Di Fuoco'.

Although more-or-less vinyl-length, the album perhaps still feels just a little too long at fifty-two minutes with a couple of tracks following a similar pattern - ballad opening, heavy outbursts, extended instrumental passage, etc - but the vibrant mix of rich orchestration, vocal exquisiteness and a dazzling variety of proggy instrumental colour makes `Eros and Thanatos' one of the Italian prog highlights of the year, and another inspired effort from Syndone that again shows this wonderful group in superb form.

Four stars.

 Odyssťas by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 148 ratings

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Odyssťas
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Italian project SYNDONE was formed by composer and keyboardist Nik Comoglio back in the late '80s, but following two initial albums in the early '90s this project took an extended hiatus. A few years back the project revived however, and from 2010 and onwards three more full-length albums have seen the light of day. "Odysseas" is the most recent of these, released by the Italian label Altrock's Fading imprint in early 2014.

Quirky, sophisticated symphonic progressive rock with a strong and characteristic vintage sound is what Syndone had created on their fifth studio album "Odysseas". With a liberal amount of high-quality guest musicians, this album should be an enjoyable affair for just about anyone with an affection for the more demanding variety of this type of progressive rock, and in particular for those who have a soft spot for Italian-language lead vocals.

 Odyssťas by SYNDONE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.93 | 148 ratings

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Odyssťas
Syndone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by MELNIBON…

4 stars I've had this album for some time, but never listened to it : it was among a big bunch of CDs that came in at the same time and, for some reason, it got shelved and forgotten until quite recently. Now, I can try to make up for the neglect I've shown.

Syndone is Nik Comoglio (keys, arrangements & composition), Francesco Pinetti (vibraphone & composition) and Riccardo Ruggeri (vocals & lyrics), which isn't the usual line-up for any Prog band by any standards, not even for a RPI one. Now, for this album, they've had a helping hand from a lot of people, among which Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson's band) on drums, John Hackett (Steve's younger brother) on flute, Federico Marchesano and Pino Russo (both well-known Italian jazzmen) on bass and acoustic guitars, and Sara Marisa Chessa on lever harp. But that's not the end of it, because you have also to add a violin, an alto, two cellos, two trumpets, a trombone, a French horn, a tuba, three saxophones (alto, tenor and baritone), and a full string orchestra !...

Before getting down to the music, a word about the booklet, because it's not everyday you get one like it. The introductory text to the concept of the album is written in Italian, English, French and what appears to me to be Japanese. The title and lyrics of each piece are first given in Italian, followed by their English translation. In itself, the booklet is also quite intriguing, as it uses repeatedly variations of the bird motif on the cover, although this time in black & white ; I find it intriguing because these birds are "walking" birds, which I find strange in the context of an album dedicated entirely to the theme of "Odysseus" (or "Ulysses") and the "journey" or "voyage" we all go through in life.

There's a warning and a word of advice in the liner notes : No electric guitars ! Play loud !... Now it remains to be seen (or rather, heard) if the absence of electric guitars is significant enough to warrant the notice. As to cranking up the volume, it's up to each listener to do so or not, because I think loudness shouldn't be a criterion by which any musical piece is best evaluated, enjoyed or even rejected.

"Odyssťas" is made up of 13 pieces, four of which are instrumental, for a total length of more than 63 min. There are no "epics" on the album, as there are five pieces clocking at 5 min, given or take a few seconds, two in the 4 min range and the six others lasting between 1:47 and 3:43. That said, the lack of "epics" is by no way a flaw. The album is a heady mix, where classical composition (both symphonic & avant-garde) provides the canvas and the main leads, but also on which some jazz and Mid-Eastern elements are weaved through. The result is music with a far-reaching range, a wide palette of colors and hues, and a singer who knows how to set his voice as one instrument among the others, rather than having the music revolve around his voice. The orchestration is lush, musicianship is highly professional to say the least and the production is flawless. It makes for a fascinating "journey", although at times it can be destabilizing, because there seems to be something lacking in some pieces and that could be a not-enough punchy beats to underline the various melodies.

4 walking birds

Thanks to Snow Dog for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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