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MAURO PAGANI

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Mauro Pagani biography
Very popular in Italy, both as a solo artist and as a session musician, multi-instrumentalist Mauro Pagani left Premiata Forneria Marconi in 1976, tired of life on the road. His first solo album, released in 1978 and simply titled "Mauro Pagani", featured many of the best Italian musicians of that time, including AREA members Demetrio Stratos, Patrizio Fariselli, Giulio Capiozzo and Ares Tavolazzi, Mauro's former PFM cohorts Franco Mussida, Patrick Djivas and Franz Di Cioccio, and singer Teresa De Sio. This album, strongly influenced by Mauro's love for world music (especially Eastern folk music), though quite different from his old band's work, is definitely an excellent record.

In 1980 Pagani took part in the CARNASCIALIA project, a new group formed by Pasquale Minieri and Giorgio Vivaldi (both also involved in the 1978 solo album) in order to revive the traditional folk sounds of central and southern Italy. In the same vein was the first and only album by ALIA MUSICA, which Pagani produced in 1979. Mauro's second album, "Sogno di una notte d'estate", came in 1981. It was first meant to be the soundtrack of a play by Oscar-winning Italian director Gabriele Salvatores, based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Later this was made into a film, and a new soundtrack was released in 1983 with the same title.
In the same year Mauro began his collaboration with influential singer-songwriter FABRIZIO DE ANDRE', and in 1984 they released what many consider one of the best De André albums, and one of the best Italian albums of the decade, "Creuza de mä" (Church by the Sea).

In the '80s Pagani mainly worked as session musician with many popular Italian artists, including Ornella Vanoni, Roberto Vecchioni and Gianna Nannini, and released his third solo album, "Passa la bellezza", in 1991. Other soundtracks followed in the 90's, for the Salvatores movies "Puerto Escondido" (1992) and "Nirvana" (1997). In 1999 Pagani rejoined PFM for a single concert in Milan, as he did again in the summer of 2003, for a concert in Siena's historic Piazza del Campo. The latest studio album by Pagani, a remake of the already mentioned "Creuza de mä", was released in 2004.

Mauro Pagani's first two albums were also issued in Japan by King/Seven Seas.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)





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

3.90 | 44 ratings
Mauro Pagani
1978
2.59 | 4 ratings
Sogno di una notte d'estate
1981
4.50 | 2 ratings
Passa la bellezza
1991
3.27 | 6 ratings
Domani
2003
4.33 | 9 ratings
Creuza de mä
2004

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MAURO PAGANI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

4 stars First off, I have to say I have never been a fan of solo albums from my more favorite groups, prog or otherwise. What we usually end up with is a watered down version of the mothership, or a muddleheaded excursion into territory best left for those who have a gift for that particular field. I can count on one hand solo albums that are really stand-outs from a collection of 3,000 or so lps and cds. The few exceptions are the ones that really strive to break new ground that the parent band wasn't ready to try. This album is one of them.

First thing fans need to know: this album does not sound at all like PFM. The second thing is that this album is mostly acoustic. Those two facts might stop folks from jumping in right away, but before you turn away, please read a bit further.

There is an all star cast of guests on here, but the main players are from PFM and even more tantalyzing-Area. However, their participation is limited to mostly only 3 of the 8 songs. Opener Europa Minor sets the tone and has a strong Balkan folk feel reminiscent of some of Boiled in Lead's excursions on Orb from 1990, and features most of Area, sans Stratos. The second song features vocalist Teresa De Sio, and is supported only by an oboe and bouzouki with some violin interludes in the instrumental section. Her voice sounds a bit like a 'prettier' Dagmar Krause for the Cow fans out there. A processed violin solo is a little forgettable but leads to the one track that will probably entice PFM fans (it contains Franz Di Coccio, Patrick Djivas, Franco Mussida and collaborator Roberto Colombo). This track echoes some of the proggier midtempo jazzy pieces from later Dixie Dregs as Mussida and Pagani have a delicate electric dance between lead guitar and electric violin. One of the better songs on the album, and we have arrived at the end of side one (too quickly by my estimation). Overall, side one has a subdued feel similar to Oregon's work of the 1970's-delicate guitars and oboe weave throughout.

Side two begins with a stunner-a full on Area workout? Featuring their drummer, bassist, keyboardist, magical vocalist Demetrio Stratos with only Pagani as the non Area member we get a full on Area styled opus. This song alone makes this album essential to any Area fans-Stratos weaves his lyricless vocal intonations throughout in a way that only he can. The only flute on the album shows up on the next song, Choron- a flute and percussion workout that some might consider filler until a nice trio of percussion duo with violin enters abruptly, saving the song from anonymity with a bit of furious bow scraping over Indian styled percussion talking drum. That is followed by Il Blu Incomnicia Daverro, a longish lingering duet with acoustic guitarist Luca Balbo with Pagani on bouzouki would be comfortable on Dimeola, DeLucia and McLaughlin's Friday NIght in San Francisco-(I even played it for friends who love that album and told them it was an outtake and they believed me without questions). Gentle acoustic interplay that is magical, but still very far from PFM. The album wraps up with a reprise of L'Albero Di Canto-Demetrio Stratos shows up again with a vocal that brings the whole proceedings to a joyous end-like the final song of an all night outdoor mediterranean sunset party. A repeating figure on processed violin invites us to join for a final magical whip round that, in the spirit of things, never really gathers. Stratos quietly whoops and intones in his best 1978 fashion until the fade out.

Remembering this is acoustic album primarily, fans of Paul McCandless and Ralph Towner's work in the jazz band Oregon might want to give this a spin. PFM fans may find this too far a stretch as Balkan influences are strong, but Area fans should jump on this immediately for what is really a 15 minute Area EP contained inside a Pagani solo album.

Four stars for the adventurous, three stars for prog purists.

 Sogno di una notte d'estate by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.59 | 4 ratings

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Sogno di una notte d'estate
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by GKR

3 stars Its actually a good album, from the same pop vein that Peter Gabriel was going through, about the same period.

The idea apparently was a soundtrack to a movie, based in the classic play with the same name from William Shakespeare. The result is a tricky but accesible pop work, with changes in tempo and with more vocals. The album cannot be compared with with the first solo album (a folk masterpiece) or Pagani's work with PFM, although we can se the versatility of this great musician and his good musical production. And is, curiously, a short album.

I guess Pagani made something that has a limited aim, without pretension to be something else, which is fine. We know, by his recent re-recording of "Creuza de Mä", that he still is the Mauro Pagani we all fall in love for.

 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mauro Pagani left PFM late in 1976 to take a break really from the world tours and recording studios to do some teaching. He would deepen his knowledge of Mediterranean music at this time as well. This is significant as his passion was renewed to get back in the studio and record this style of music we now call World Music. It's very cool that Mauro gets help on this album from not only his PFM bandmates but several from AREA as well. It would be the following year that Mauro would join Demetrio Stratos and Giorgio Vivaldi (both help out on this record) to further push the boundries of this style of music into more Avant territories in a band called CARNASCIALIA. Well I took the usual route into work this morning as I listened to this album yet I felt like I should be riding a camel on a dusty road in the Middle East.

"Europa Minor" features several AREA members instrumentally and it hits the ground running with violin and a beat leading the way. Aboe replaces the violin before a minute but not for long. Check out the violin 2 minutes in as the aboe comes and goes. I like the percussion 3 minutes in. "Argiento" opens with Bouzouki and it sounds great as female vocals join in. Vocals stop and violin joins in at 2 minutes. Aboe too then the vocals return around 4 minutes. "Violer D'ammes" has violin throughout and Mauro is very impressive.

"La Citta Aromatica" is where Mauro's PFM mates (drums, guitar & bass) help him out. We get drums, bass, violin and more. So much going on. Guitar before 1 1/2 minutes. A great sounding track. "L'albero Di Canto Pt 1" is Stratos on vocals with three other AREA mambers helping out instrumentally. It opens with piano then we get violin, drums and bass after a minute. Killer sound before 2 minutes.The piano leads before 3 minutes in an uptempo section.The bass then becomes prominant then violin. Piano is back then Stratos. "Choron" has flute of some sort only for 2 minutes then a new soundscape takes over with a cool sounding rhythm. "Da Qualche Parte..." has this intricate Bouzouki melody then the sound builds. So good. Beautiful stuff. "L'albero Di Canto Pt 2" opens with violin as Stratos joins in.

Not as good as as the album that would follow under the band name CARNASCIALIA but still a four star album.

 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by 1967/ 1976

4 stars If you love the contamination in RPI... Pagani is the best example.

'Mauro Pagani' is not a solo work but a band album by Mauro Pagani and other italian musicians that love the Arabic music. This is the messae by Mauro Pagani in album sleevenotes. And sure this is true.

The music is not too pure RPi but it is clear that the 1st song of this album ('Europa Minor') is a pure Area's song. But it is clear that 'Mauro Pagani' is not only 'Europa Minor'. 'Mauro Pagani' is also a possessed Teresa De Sio in 'Argiento' or Demetrio Stratos voice in 'L'albero Di Canto' (eng: 'The Singing Tree'). It is true that the Arabic influences are used for a new RPI version and experience and for this motive 'Mauro Pagani' is more in the way of Peter Gabriel contaminations that in Aktuala style way. The magic and the emotions of 'Mauro Pagani' are not in first plan but if you love RPI this album is a pure recommended album.

In my vision 'Mauro Pagani' is not comparable to PFM (Pagani's previous band) but with Area or Aktuala (this last band in improperly way).

The production and sound mix are OK and the mini LP package (BTF reissue on Italian Prog series) is extremely good.

 Sogno di una notte d'estate by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.59 | 4 ratings

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Sogno di una notte d'estate
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by gr8dane

2 stars Bought this in the mid-eighties as an import record.Did not at the time know it was music for a stage show and was somewhat disappointed.I guess I thought it would be similar to PFM.IT IS NOT.

You do totally feel the music is indeed created for a show with a dance troupe dancing along to the melodies/songs acting out the storyline,with the band playing at the back of the stage on the right hand side.There is a picture of the gang inside the gatefold and it looks like it could have been a slightly wacky take on the Shakespeare story they are taking on here.The whole package may have been great at the time.

The songs aren't bad ,but not really that good either.Musicianship is very good,but only once does it taste a bit of prog,but we mainly stay in the rock spectrum of things.

So if you are tempted to buy this as a Japanese import cd,be careful,cause like me, you would feel the money could be spent better somewhere else.

 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars His first (and maybe best) solo effort!

Yes, this is the same Mauro Pagani who used to play in a well known Italian band named PFM and i wanted to review this album ages ago, now i feel like writing something decent. It´s curious to see that non of the collabs have actually reviewed this album, i use to read the reviews of the album im about to review, i hope to see soon a couple of reviews more about it.

So, Mauro Pagani during the years has gained recognition not only in his country but around the world, his work as a member of PFM was remarkable on the band´s music and of course it helped him to gain respect from the same musicians of the best 70s Italian prog bands and some more better known musicians in the local Italian scene.

After he left PFM, he started a career as a solo artist and this first and self-titled album was released back in 1978, Mauro Pagani contains 8 songs and a total lenght of 36 minutes, maybe we could wonder what would have happened if he hadn´t left the band, better leave it to our imagination and concentrate in this great, believe me great album.

I will start now with the songs´review, but first i would like to let you all know that in this album we will find other known names besides Pagani, such as Franz di Cioccio, Patrick Djivas, Demetrio Stratos and Giulio Capiozzo, among others, who worked together with Mauro in this album, and they were really helpful.

Europa Minor is the opener, i love the opening acts because i like to see the way the album runs, some first songs are strong, some others melodic and some other just show a brief example of the music we actually are going to listen. this song starts as it has to start, with a clear and obviously great violin playing with a mediterranean flavour, the sound is not that symphonic oriented, but some kind of jazzy-folk style (if that thing exists), the song follows with that mediterranean style, and there are some clappies, (mm that word remnds me to some known PA charachter who im sure loves this album)

Argiento features for the first time in the album vocals, female vocals actually by a girl named Teresa who actually i don´t know who is or how did she get to sing on this album, not my favourite vocal style, acoustic guitars ala folk RPI of the 70s, a nice melody.

Violer d´amores is a short violin solo song with a classical style, he shows a little bit of his virtuosism, he is a trained musician, if you didn´t know.

La cittá aromatica it´s a nice song, as normal a violin driven song, but this time accompanied by the exquisite playing of his ex PFM mates, a beautiful instrumental passage, great music and noticeable guitar playing, a very enjoyable song.

L´Albero di Canto (Pt. 1) is the second time in the album we hear voices, but this time Demetrio Stratos gave his unique vocal style to this song, we will listen to the piano first, then violin and the odd but incredible Stratos voice, the song actually sounds like some Area tunes, one of the best songs of the album without a doubt.

Choron starts with a flute and a calm and soft sound which lasts almost 2 minutes and then fades out, then a totally folkish sound begins with some percussion which in fact reminds me to some of my country (Mexico) folk passages, then Pagani´s violin enters and the song follows the same road throughout the 5 minutes.

Da qualche parte tra la Calabria e Corfù il blu comincia davvero , i was lazy to write the name of this song so i copied and pasted it from above (lol), now we are about to reach the goal, we are in the final 10 minutes, this song is beautiful, acoustic guitar which reminds me to Riccardo Zappa, bello, molto bello.

L´Albero di canto (pt.2) after a great instrumental acoustic guitar song, we finish this great album which i really enjoy listening to, as you can imagine as the first part of this song, we will listen to Stratos vocals and the Area flavoured song, since this is kind of a reprise.

I like the album a lot, i think every RPI lover should take a listen to this. Not outstanding, not bad at all, an excellent addition to any prog lover, 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

 Domani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.27 | 6 ratings

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Domani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by numediaman

3 stars If you like the direction Peter Gabriel has taken with his last few releases you will love Domani.

Mauro Pagani has narrowed down his focus to vocals and piano, and has looked towards the middle east and North Africa for his inspiration.

All-in-all, an excellent effort for an excellent musician -- aging gracefully.

Don't look for PFM influences here, this is Pagani, 30+ years later.

Recommended for those who will let artists grow on their own.

 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zedkatz

2 stars I'm a bit lost how to describe this!

There's a certain progginess to it on some tracks but it's probably best described as world music.

One thing for sure. It's about as far away from PFM (his previous band) as you can imagine. He has clearly drawn heavily on eastern folk music. In fact parts of this remind me of a collection of Bulgarian folk music I have in my possession somewhere. It can make pretty uncomfortable listening to the Western ear accustomed to major/minor keys.

There's no doubting the technical ability from the man and his supporting musicians, but it really is not easy on the ears. A notable exception is the track "Il Blu Incommincia Davverro" which is a lovely piece featuring simply guitar and bouzouki (the latter played by Mauro).

I may be being slightly hasty in reviewing this album as it's only just come into my possession and may yet grow on me. However I sense this is one that I'll be playing only when I go through one of those phases when I want to listen to different musical idioms, or to introduce unsuspecting friends to different musical influences.

With some hesitation I have to give this a 2 star rating.

 Mauro Pagani by PAGANI, MAURO album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.90 | 44 ratings

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Mauro Pagani
Mauro Pagani Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Cometa Rossa

5 stars Highly recommended! Not only but especially for AREA-Fans. Very passionate progfusion, clearly related to AREA (look at the lineup) more than to PFM (look at the lineup). Strong eastern-mediterrenean folk influences, irresistable rhythms, melodies and solos especially from Mauro on violin an diverse flutes. Also irresistable vocals from Demetrio Stratos and Theresa de Sio. Get it! Its a true gem.
Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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