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MAXOPHONE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Maxophone biography
Although less popular than other mainstream Italian prog rock groups, MAXOPHONE achieved a late cult status among prog rock fan because of their well crafted music, solid musical expertise and precisely cut arrangements. A well coordinated six piece ensemble, MAXOPHONE sits in the prog rock arena covering the gap between the clattering edge of groups like KING CRIMSON, the folky roots of JETHRO TULL and the more elaborated Canterbury sound. MAXOPHONE had a twin-fold soul: half of the members had classic music background while the other half had a solid rock background. This weird combination appears clearly in some songs were very non-rock instruments, such as horn, clarinet, trumpet and vibraphone are used in very balanced way together with Fripp-esque guitars and electrical piano. After one year rehearsal work, in 1975, MAXOPHONE issued their only LP record, the homonymous MAXOPHONE, which aged pretty well, sounding fresh today as 30 year ago.

Although MAXOPHONE may sometime blink an eye to melodic rock, they never forget to surprise the listener, nicely standing repeated listening. Their music shows surfacing influences from Greg LAKE, Robert FRIPP, ELP, KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, NATIONAL HEALTH, PFM, BANCO and Yes among the others. Their most renown feature is to change the music mood from pastoral to rock to classical within the same song without losing listening momentum. After the publication of the homonymous LP, they recorded a pop pier single, whose side A and B songs are both included as bonus tracks in the CD version of MAXOPHONE.

A clear must for all Italian prog rock lovers.

: : : Ludovico Vecchione, ITALY : : :

Maxophone official website

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MAXOPHONE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MAXOPHONE Music


MaxophoneMaxophone
Import
Btf 2009
Audio CD$17.35
$17.34 (used)
La Fabbrica Delle NuvoleLa Fabbrica Delle Nuvole
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$15.66
$19.95 (used)
From Cocoon to ButterflyFrom Cocoon to Butterfly
Box set · Import
Btf 2008
Audio CD$37.44
$29.08 (used)
Live in TokyoLive in Tokyo
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$20.86
$22.92 (used)
Live In Tokyo by MaxophoneLive In Tokyo by Maxophone
Immaginifica
Audio CD$51.97
Maxophone by Maxophone (2005-01-21)Maxophone by Maxophone (2005-01-21)
Disk Union Japan
Audio CD$66.35
From Cocoon to Butterfly by Maxophone (2008-05-09)From Cocoon to Butterfly by Maxophone (2008-05-09)
Btf
Audio CD$51.43
Official Bootleg LimitedOfficial Bootleg Limited
Import
Imports 2013
Audio CD$41.00
$25.17 (used)
Maxophone (Italian Version) [Reissue Vinyl]Maxophone (Italian Version) [Reissue Vinyl]
Import
AMS
Vinyl$39.99
$49.99 (used)
Maxophone English VersionMaxophone English Version
Import
Mellow Records 2010
Audio CD$49.99
$42.96 (used)
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MAXOPHONE discography


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

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

4.25 | 394 ratings
Maxophone
1975
3.71 | 51 ratings
Maxophone (English lyrics)
1975
3.69 | 24 ratings
La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole
2017

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

4.08 | 15 ratings
Live in Tokyo
2014

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

4.12 | 21 ratings
From Cocoon To Butterfly
2005

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

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

4.25 | 4 ratings
C'č un paese al mondo/ Al Mancato Compleanno Di Una Farfalla
1975
4.14 | 7 ratings
Il Fischio Del Vapore/ Cono Di Gelato
1977

MAXOPHONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.69 | 24 ratings

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La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

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

4 stars There used to be something of a running joke that Italy was home to a ton of doomed vintage prog bands that delivered one single album in their prime active years and then promptly vanished, leaving it their sole legacy. That rule has been somewhat shattered over the last few years as a ton of Italian groups have reunited and delivered long-belated follow-ups - yes, the likes of Museo Rosenbach, Murple, even Cherry Five and countless others - and now it's Maxophone's turn! Although `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole' doesn't often sound like their much-loved self-titled 1975 debut and only singer Alberto Ravasini and keyboardist Sergio Lattuada remain from the original line-up (although utilising the same talented new musicians that performed on their 2014 `Live in Tokyo' release), it's a varied and lavish assortment of rock pieces grafted to fancy classical-flavoured symphonic pomp that remains melodic and approachable without being overly simple.

Unpredictable and cool rocker `Un Ciclone sul Pacifico' opens the LP around teases of orchestration and cool slinking grooves from electric piano, with heavier punchy bursts kicking in and out around slick backing harmonies, and Alberto Ravasini's voice has remained in fine raspy and charismatic form (with all the vocals performed in Italian, no two versions including English offered this time around, thank you very much!). `Perdo il Colore Blu' is book-ended with twisting/turning up-tempo sprints, and there's a light jazziness to the Hammond organ and cheerful swagger of the piece with brief rollicking PFM-like trilling synth runs, and `Il Passo delle Ore', one of the loveliest tunes of the album, is a gentler romantic moment with a catchy clever chorus, soft violin and crisp electric guitar themes.

The title track `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole' is the first big `wow' moment of the disc, a fully-instrumental crossover of whimsical keyboard prettiness, light jazz-fusion guitar grooves and colourful symphonic themes (Marco Croci's slinking thick bass is a real highlight here too) all in under six minutes, and in parts it doesn't sound unlike Italian discs of the last few years like Progenesi's `Ulisse l'Alfiere Nero', Moogg's `Italian Luxury Style' or the last F.E.M album `Sulla Bolla di Sapone'. Folk aromas permeate intricate rocker `La Luna e la Lepre' with a dancing Baroque fanciness of madrigal-flavoured Gryphon and Gentle Giant-like sophistication and whimsy, plenty of ravishing acoustic guitars and intricate multi-part group harmonies, and dreamy synths, silken acoustic guitars and ruminative sax throughout the tasteful and classy `Estate '41' could almost have hailed from a Steve Hackett solo disc.

`Nel Fiume dei Giorni i Tuoi Capelli' is busily schizophrenic for a track that doesn't even run four minutes, bouncing through everything from dream-like careful soft rock with elegant violin and sparkling electric piano tiptoes to delicate folk and frantic contorting guitar races, ultimately sounding closer to something like the modern version of Swedish symphonic proggers Kaipa. Those baroque and chamber prog flavours pop up again throughout `Il Matto e l'Aquilone' thanks to warm folk-flecked acoustic guitars and prancing violin whilst alternating back and forth with snappy jazz-fusion turns and infectious keyboard-driven symphonic prog sprints, and `Le Parole Che non vi Ho Detto' is a short and giddy violin/piano closer.

While it can't possibly live up to the status that the popular 1975 debut enjoys, `La Fabbrica delle Nuvole's strength lies in the fact that it's a real grower that impresses more and more with every listen. It's an eclectic, colourful and tastefully performed comeback with plenty to recommend about it, and another example that no country delivers better and more rewarding modern prog albums from older acts than Italy. Lovers of Maxophone and Italian prog fans in general should end up having a terrific time with this unexpectedly vital, highly surprising and greatly inspired work.

Four stars.

 La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.69 | 24 ratings

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La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by maryes

4 stars 4,5 stars really ! MAXOPHONE "La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole" - A great surprise... I make an effort to remind similar case ; A new band release with very good quality after all these years... still more admirable is the fact that in this album only two original members : Alberto Ravasini and Sergio Lattuada . Although, at this time the same influences that I point in my review of their first album ((#282950) Friday, May 21, 2010 ) PFM , Campo di Marte and Gentle Giant... now the sound is much more close of GG. Is enough listen the title track "La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole" introduction and main theme, the "Interlude" (starting at 2:02 until 2: 52 min ) in same track ! The only "weak" moment as in track 3 "Il Passo delle Ore" ... but this moment aren't enough to make a great "damage" of audition. The album is full of interesting musical passages as for instance , the medieval atmosphere in track 5 "La Luna e la Lepre"... between others. My rate is 4 stars !!!
 La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.69 | 24 ratings

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La Fabbrica Delle Nuvole
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Chalcobalt

3 stars Baroque strings set the tone for this album in a classic Italian prog rock feeling. Keyboard-based style with plenty of guitars, horns and violin. There are really bright moments here, lovely melodies, paces and intricate changes in these. The symphonic parts with folky and classical incorporations are the most enjoyable, and there are also beautiful piano to be found occassionally. The guitar is on the other hand quite eclectic at times in sections not as interesting for me. In prog measures, most songs are short. With the musical skill and the range of instruments obviously possessed and mastered, I think the band could compose elongate epic masterpiece tracks if such ambitions would appear to them. But the songs rather orientate into rock tunes in a more standard appearance. Because of this, most tracks becomes increasingly tedious upon repeated listening instead of growing with time. Don't get me totally here though, there are a lot of these genious moments on the record, but no song that I absolutely admire from start to end. 'Un ciclone su Pacifico' is my honourable mention apart from the piano- and bass-driven instrumental title track that really tickles progressive nerve cells. Medieval tunes at boths ends of an otherwise really eclectic 'La luna e la Lepre' are also among the most exciting parts. I'm left with the sense that it could have been so much more, in many senses, but this is nevertheless recommendable high quality prog rock.
 Live in Tokyo by MAXOPHONE album cover Live, 2014
4.08 | 15 ratings

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Live in Tokyo
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Thierry

4 stars We all know one shot bands, generally author of a brilliant album. Bands who quickly, too quickly, went back into the mists of oblivion. Best kept secrets or beautiful losers? England and "Garden Shed" comes to the mind, Silver Lining's "The Inner Dragon" in France for instance. And Italy, Maxophone and their eponymous opus released in 1975. This album quickly became a legend at the time it was published and even had its English version. It deserves it because the music, both symphonic and jazzy in a pastoral atmosphere, is a thing of beauty. Think of Genesis, Brand X and PFM (violin parts). I believed the band was gone with the wind and what a surprise I had in my letterbox! A live record! In 2013, they went to play in an Italian prog festival in Japan. From the original line up, there are only Alberto Ravasini (acoustic guitar, keyboards, vocals, flute) and Sergio Lattuada (keyboards, vocals) left but they are the main leaders I would say. And they hired gifted fellows for this rebirth. Thus the magic is back. Of course, the Milanese outfit plays the whole album (including a splendid version of 'C'č un paese al mondo') but they add two unreleased tracks, one ('Guardian Angel') showing welcome Gentle Giant influences. What a pleasure! A thing of beauty is a joy for ever (Keats).
 Maxophone by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 394 ratings

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Maxophone
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Xonty

5 stars Maxophone's debut has recently earned its place as my favourite record from the whole RPI scene. For me, even better than any PFM or Banco album, and the only 5-star rating I think I'll ever give in the sub-genre, having already heard the most exalted works within the sub-genre. Those who undermine "Maxophone" often use the veiled insult of calling them the Italian band for those who don't like Italian prog, therefore rendering the band untrue or even dishonest to the genre. To an extent I'd agree with this fallacy, but more in the vein of it being a combination of it both drawing illustrious symphonic influences with colourful moments of jazz, and also the more intimate RPI sound. Kind of like when people call "Hot Rats" the Zappa album for people who don't like Zappa - it doesn't make it any less of a masterpiece. Frankly, I often have a reluctancy to distribute 5-star reviews to any albums I've recently heard (as a result of it being merely an anxiety of a momentary hype), but I sincerely doubt my opinion of this glorious album will waver. The magnificence and intricate musicality, tightly wound by the band's chemistry make this an irresistible listen, and unequivocally essential to a progger's collection.

"C'e Un Paese Al Mondo" is possibly the greatest Italian album opener, its only real competition being "Appena Un Po" off of PFM's highly regarded "Per Un Amico". I still remember the first time I heard it, nodding along with admiration to that dreamy and pensive piano intro, and subsequently shellshocked by the blistering, harsh guitar. Honestly, it's everything I look for in a prog song, as the textures thickened and I just didn't have to try to find anything to enjoy. Even after a dozen or so listens, I'm still utterly overwhelmed and astonished by the dexterity and absolute perfect balance between all its climaxes and musical/rhythmic elements. I seriously cannot begin to articulate the state of awe that this puts me in - just listen to it for yourself, and you may experience what I did and still do.

"Fase" obviously has a lot to live up to, but the fully-formed sound and endless variety displayed does not diminish whatsoever in this track. There's some gorgeous instrumentation and unique harmonies throughout, with numerous first-class instrumentals (as with the whole record). The piece frequently changes its musical direction without any indications, but manages to sound not at all laboured in doing so - certainly a respectable feat to accomplish. Again, it has a concrete structure, leaving just enough room for experimentation without going off on a tangent, and ah! Looking back, these 2 tracks could almost constitute as enough for a 5-star album - there's so so much to say.

"Al mancato compleanno di una farfalla" is another faultless track in its own right, primarily exhibiting the band's more tentative side. A delightful classical guitar intro leads into a beautiful rustic setting, emphasised by the flute. The slightly sharp harpsichord line is just so delectable, and almost makes you root for these Italian underdogs. Furthermore, those little glitches in production like the accidental guitar mute midway through, make it yet more warming and relatable. Another unique quality this record possesses is the consistent use of phasing, that truthfully makes certain parts more bloated, but the great sentiment of a desire to push boundaries and the vibrant personality it contributes easily outweighs this minor flaw. 5 minutes through, an organ solo just explodes after a very gradual growing, which goes to show how discrete Maxophone can be, and the energy they come at you with after a seemingly minimal change or contrast.

"Elzeviro": yet another mindblower. There are some truly astounding and effective chord progressions here. The diminished compressions that just elevate and reveal some extremely vehement vocals. More fantastic horn sections, plus one of the several musical pinnacles on the album, with that isolated piano note. The arrangement is just flawless when analysed, and the forced tempo changes are another sumptuous imperfection on here. The manic vibrato guitar seems to add just enough chaos to an already explosive track. The chilling woodwind chorus towards the end illuminates the gentle landscape painted by the singer; a huge contrast to those bellowing horns. The piece is particularly credible from a technical standpoint, and nevertheless very enjoyable.

The penultimate track begins with a pastoral harp serenade that bears a much less threatening build-up for those who aren't huge on the adrenaline-driven earlier pieces. There's a yet more adventurous harmonies that are further explored by the bass on here. Watery effects and a particularly soothing guitar line lead into a fairly hypnotic coda. On first listen, this repetitiveness seemed fairly tedious, but has become something for engulfing and simply transcendent upon re-listening to the album, especially when you're caught in the right frame of mind. I suppose this would be a weaker song in comparison to the rest of the album, but really it couldn't do much better in setting out on the sound it was trying to achieve. Plus, there's no way I couldn't imagine this track not on here.

"Antiche Conclusioni Negre" closes the album all too prematurely. A particularly liberating intro with some kind of call and response going on between the group. All the instruments have effectively had their say in the first 30 seconds or so, and all of this contributes to forming a very inclusive, empowering track. An excellent composition that really feels like its one more for the road. The very under-played, falsetto delivery suddenly augments and really lifts to reveal some vociferous vocals. Then, just when you think it's drying up, they enter that unbelievable build-up before culminating at the immaculate sax solo. Very melodic with those unmistakable fusion-esque squeaks. A slightly trippy, eccentric choral approach for the coda brings the album to a close in a much more conclusive way than their Italian cohorts. Maxophone really are the unsung heroes of the RPI scene when each of the member's innate, effortless talent and affinity is taken into consideration. Thankfully, they're finally getting their recognition here on ProgArchives

A: If these guys never made it, and allegedly each had to live off a sandwich a day during this recording session, how will I ever make it in music? Maxophone appear to be as fully-formed from the get-go as King Crimson on their timeless debut. The fact that this group disbanded and have only left this one-album legacy behind makes you wonder how much potential they really had. Quintessential.

C'č Un Paese Al Mondo: ***** Fase: ****.5 Al Mancato Compleanno Di Una Farfalla: ****.5 Elzeviro: ****.5 Mercanti Di Pazzie: **** Antiche Conclusioni Nerge: *****

 Maxophone by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 394 ratings

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Maxophone
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars If there was ever a one hit wonder, then Maxophone's only album certainly makes the mark. This isn't your standard PFM, Banco, or Le Orme styled album; there are bits of these band's sounds, but for the most part this is a very unique sound these guys achieve. A few of the members are classically trained, while the others have a rock background. This alone gives the album a unique blend of pure classic rock riffage and well-composed symphonic moments, in addition to plenty of jazzy moments to top it off.

Suffice it to say the album is quite diverse. The album can be folky, jazzy, symphonic, or heavy. It can be intense, dramatic, yet equally beautiful and melodic. All of this while retaining a sense of unity. Not adhering to any strict sound, style, or formula is what makes this album so appealing.

There are plenty of surprises in each song; the through composed nature of the album benefits this, as they often don't spend too much time on a single idea. Yet everything seems in its rightful place. The first song, for example, is based on a dramatic, repeating vocal melody, while the following 'Fase' has a much more aggressive and rough edge. The band even takes a more poppy approach in songs like 'Il Fischio Del Vapore' and the ballad-esque 'Cono Di Gelato,' both of which are more laid-back than the rest of the album.

A unique album, yet undeniably Italian in style, I would say this is a must have for Italian Proggers at the very least, and earns a nice spot amongst the best of the genre.

8/10

 Maxophone by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 394 ratings

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Maxophone
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Moogtron III
Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Excellent RPI album, one of the best that I know of.

What makes it so good is the excellent compositions, which are as good as any of the 'big Italian bands', like PFM, Banco and Le Orme. Actually, there is not one weak song on the album. All the compositions have something to offer. This is a very mature band, even when this is their debut album. Each song has different bits and pieces that gel all well together: nothing sounds artificial, everything sounds 'in place'.

Except for the compositions, I'd say that the imaginative use of keyboards add to the great quality of the album. The vocals are quite nice too, even if not very special. Soundwise, the band is quite good too.

Strongly recommended for anyone who likes classic Italian 1970's prog!

 From Cocoon To Butterfly by MAXOPHONE album cover DVD/Video, 2005
4.12 | 21 ratings

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From Cocoon To Butterfly
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars ''Maxophone'' was also released in an English-sung version, but the album failed to bring the band a wider recognition.In 1976 recordings for a second album started, however Maxophone disbanded the following year after a last single with Leonardo Schiavone spending some time with Stormy Six at the end of the decade.About 30 years later a posthumous work was released on Vinyl Magic, entitled ''From cocoon to butterfly'', containing both a CD and a DVD.

The CD contains five unreleased tracks along with demo versions of Maxophone's already published compositions.In fact the opening ''Kaleidophonia'', clocking at 10 minutes, was to be included in Maxophone's second album and considering its quality this could have been another great album by the band.Smooth and professional instrumental Prog with extended keyboard passages, led by Hammond organ, great sax and clarinet solos, lovely interplays and delicate melodies in the best Italian tradition.This is superb Italian-flavored Symphonic Rock with minor jazzy moves.''L'isola'' is a demo quality leftover from the band's debut and comes as a proposal of romantic Symphonic Rock with emotional guitar solos and vocals along with cinematic trumpets and a great keyboard-based ending theme.''Fischio del vapore'' is another track of demo quality, recorded in 1976 and intended to be the single of Maxophone's second album.The folky flavor is now more dominant due to the archaic use of flutes and acoustic guitars, while wordless voices and marching horns result a really elegant and melancholic atmosphere.''Il lago delle ninfee'' is another leftover from Maxophone's sole release, a short track with light P.F.M. and BLOCCO MENTALE influences, led by mellow vocals, piano and harsichord, while the long ''Dadaida'' was destined to remain in a hidden tape for almost 30 years, again as part of the band's never released second album.Another proof of Maxophone's composing level, another lost and unreleased treasure of Italian Prog, somewhere between Canterbury Fusion, Jazz and Symphonic Rock with great interplays, notable work on clarinet and electric piano and furious breaks.

Five tracks, as aforementioned, are demo versions from the pieces presented in the band's monumental debut, while the DVD contains interviews along with a fantastic footage for a RAI Television programme in 1976.The quality of the video is pretty great, the performance of this masterful act is even better.Another video of an instrumental version of "Mercanti di pazzie" was caught in 2005 at Radio Popolare Studios in Milano, when Maxophone reunited briefly for some concerts.

One of the top 5 acts in the long history of 70's Italian Prog.This archival work is highly recommended even for Prog fans, who own Maxophone's splendid debut, especially for guys with a visual preferance.The unreleased tracks are absolutely great and the video contained is a great document of Maxophone's performances and talent.Do yourself a favor and grab this work.

 Maxophone by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 394 ratings

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Maxophone
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Fenrispuppy

5 stars Ok...one should never start a review with the words "ok" or "so", but I do it anyway. Okay then...this is a tough one. Maxophone is one of those one-hit wonders of rock progressivo Italiano that nominally could be categorized with PFM, Banco or LeOrme...my holy trinity of that genre. Maxophone, had they persisted should have stood shoulder to shoulder with them, as well as with symphonic prog masters such as Genesis, Yes and ELP. In fact this album has been sought for many years by fans of rock progressivo italiano and for good reason.

Most of the songs on Maxophone's debut defy description mixing jazz, rock, blues, funk and, of course, classical. History tells us that Maxophone was the joining together of three rock musicians with three classical musicians, and if true, it explains a lot, particularly the eclectic nature of the band. Despite the fact that these songs defy description, I will do my best to describe some of the songs so the reader can decide if this album is worth investigating. I also may "name-drop" other bands to give the reader a sense of what the album sounds like. This is not to imply that Maxophone is derivative or ripping these bands off, because I do not believe that this is the case. Maxophone may incorporate many different styles but have a style all their own. Describing the music in the context of familiar bands should give the reader some idea if this recording will be pleasing to them.

Setting the tone for the album is one of the album's strongest tunes "C'e un paese al mondo" which kicks off the album in grand style...beginning with hauntingly beautiful piano before electric guitar, drums, bass and organ barge in with a time signature change at less than minute, signaling the first of several different movements and time changes within this six and a half minute song. At this point the band compares very favorably to PFM, Genesis or Yes in terms of complexity and talent, with a very strong vocal performance from their lead singer.

The next song "Fase" starts like a blues-rock-prog jam, sounding something like Edgar Winter had hijacked Yes, before sliding through symphonic mode into jazz. Before long, this is abandoned in exchange for some Tony Banks-style keyboards, then to vibraphone (or xylophone?) back to blues-prog, then to a flute solo and back again. Perhaps the reader is beginning to sympathize with this writer. It is not easy to describe these songs or do them the justice that they deserve.

"Al mancato compleanno una farfalle" is one of the more gentle songs on "Maxophone" and has some nice vocal harmonies before launching into hard rock mode about four minutes in. The faster section of the song has keyboard playing reminiscent of Keith Emerson, and my previous statements not withstanding, is probably the most derivative moment on the album. However, nowhere and no-when would I ever consider sounding like Keith Emerson to be a flaw.

The fourth track "Elzeviro", sounds a little bit like the inspired chaos that characterizes Area International Popular Group with Maxophone's vocalist nearly attaining the dramatic heights attained by Area's vocalist, the late lamented Demetrio Stratos, while avoiding the excesses of that band. By turns, the song is jazzy, funky and symphonic before transforming into something resembling early Genesis.

"Mercanti di Pazzio", like "Al mancato" begins gently, except in this case maintains a gentle tempo and tone, comparing favorably to mellower Genesis fare such as "Ripples". "Antichi conclusioni negre" closes the album with some funky, spacey keyboard playing and excellent drumming. This song also boasts some fine saxophone playing, memorable guitar work and Yes-style harmonizing. It definitely closes the album in grandiose style.

The final two songs appear to be bonus tracks that are not part of the album proper, but are part of the iTunes rerelease. "Il fischio del vapore" contains a strong, melodic and confident vocal performance even if the song is relatively simple. "Cono di gelato" could almost be described as a blue-eyed soul or pop ballad. Is it progressive? No. Is it alluring, soulful, beautiful and worth a listen? Absolutely.

The overall verdict is that this is a stunning debut album that unfortunately did not evolve into a lengthy career for Maxophone. I would love to know what happened and why this promising beginning did not amount to much beyond a cult oddity, all but forgotten except by hardcore prog fans like myself. "Maxophone" is such a great recording that I still feel like I cannot do it justice with mere words. I would love to hijack a radio station and just play it over and over again (even the pop-oriented bonus tracks) until everybody has heard it. I love this album that much. However this album does contain an annoying artifact of the time in which it was recorded..the fadeout. On "Fase" especially, the fadeout was disappointing because it was fading while some interesting music was still going on. Aside from that minor gripe this is a brilliant album, a masterpiece of progressive rock. Bravo!

 Maxophone by MAXOPHONE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.25 | 394 ratings

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Maxophone
Maxophone Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Maxophone - st (1975)

This Italian symphonic progressive rock record is often seen as one of the highlights of the scene. Fullblown multi-instrumental arrangements, influences from Genesis and ELP, yet still a sort of own way of doing things in an almost orchestral way. The band incorperates many influences in it's compositions and is garentued to raise a smile with a composition like 'Fase', in which they switch styles in high tempo.

I don't like hearing instruments recorded in differents pitches. Maybe it's because I'm a trained musician myself; I really really don't like it, it makes me crumble. This is the type of well intentioned record that is totally ruined by false sounding guitars and keyboards that are like a saw for my harmonic brain. During almost every moment of the record there's some pitch anomaly that bothers me quite a lot. I don't think every music-listener hears this, because almost no-one seems to even mention the fact that some of the arrangements are painfully out of pitch. I would really love to hear a remaster in which all instruments are re-pitched to the same amount of Herz. As it is now, I can only recommend this record to symphonic prog listeners who have never engaged any problem whatsoever with a record sounding out of pitch. They will find Maxophone a great treat I guess.

Two stars, I just can't listen to this.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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