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OSANNA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Osanna biography
Founded in Naples, Italy in 1971 - Disbanded in 1979 - Reformed in 1999

OSANNA is classic seventies Italian prog. The basis of their sound is original heavy guitar rock often in combination with amazing flute solos. Additionally, more spacey, Pink Floydian parts and quiet interludes with acoustic guitar and flute can be heard as well. There are plenty of mood changes and surprises that make this music very dynamic and interesting.

Their first three are masterpieces in their own right. The superb "L'Uomo" in which heavy rock and spacey jazz are only a few of the styles included, the soundtrack "Milano Calibro 9" and their best "Palepoli" which is so bizarre and complex, beginners may be too dazzled by the array of styles presented. "Palepoli" covers a wide range of styles, moods, and tempo variations, and OSANNA handle these diverse modes of playing superbly. This eponymus masterpiece can be compared to BANCO DEL SOCCORSO or PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI An ultimate classic!

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OSANNA discography


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

3.67 | 154 ratings
L'Uomo
1971
3.57 | 97 ratings
Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)]
1972
4.26 | 424 ratings
Palepoli
1972
3.56 | 95 ratings
Landscape of Life
1974
3.15 | 51 ratings
Suddance
1978
2.14 | 17 ratings
Taka Boom
2001
3.62 | 51 ratings
Osanna & David Jackson: Prog Family
2009
3.48 | 75 ratings
Palepolitana
2015

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

3.36 | 9 ratings
Osanna Live Uomini E Miti
2003
3.86 | 14 ratings
Rosso Rock - Live in Japan
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Pape SatÓn Aleppe
2016

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

4.88 | 10 ratings
Tempo
2013

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

4.50 | 9 ratings
Le Pi¨ Belle Canzoni Degli Osanna
2006

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
There Will Be Time
1972

OSANNA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Suddance by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.15 | 51 ratings

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Suddance
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars OSANNA are considered one of the best bands to emerge from the fertile Italian prog scene of the 1970s known not only for their excellent blend of various musical genres but equally for the live performances that made them stand out from the pack from the getgo. This band from Napoli formed all the way back in 1970 and was known for changing things up radically on each album with the 1973 magnum opus "Palepoli" still considered one of the greatest masterpieces of the entire progressive rock world however when it came to the followup "Landscape Of Life," the band was riddled with tensions and basically disintegrated in the midst of the recording sessions.

It probably should have been the end of the band for good but after a reconciliation, the majority of members decided to give it another shot and recorded the band's fifth album SUDDANCE only with long time keyboardist Elio D'Anna having been replaced by Fabrizio D'Angelo and bassist Enzo Petrone taking the place of Lello Brandi. SUDDANCE was a commercial flop although the music critics did seem to show some love for it. The album is very much like its predecessor in that it basically meanders all over the place only more so without any particularly memorable tracks. The opening "Ce Vulesse" immediately sets the album apart from any previous works as a pure jazz-fusion piece more in the vein of bands like Brand X than anything from the Italian scene.

While OSANNA had always incorporated jazz into its works, the saxophone squawks and fusion chord progression became even more pronounced on SUDDANCE although the folky Mediterranean flavors still seeped into the works. The album is noticeable less rooted in hard rock with less guitar heft thus making it the mellowest overall album in the band's 70s run. Despite the excellent instrumental performances of the band rounded off with Lino Vairetti's instantly recognizable vocal style, SUDDANCE does sound a bit more on the commercial side with less progressive meanderings and more focused tight-knit jazz-rock composiitons. The album is laced with funk grooves, clean guitar riffs and jazzy drum rolls with only the slower folky pastoral tracks deviating from the pattern. Some rock still emerges from time to time but only for fleeting moments.

Add to that the album's longest track "O Napulitano" which is just shy of 10 minutes doesn't quite have the music mojo to really justify its length which is pretty much the problem with the album as a whole. In comparison to the band's first three albums this one is quite dull indeed but if evaluated on its own terms it's not all that bad however there is no doubt indeed that OSANNA had fallen from grace and had become mediocre rather than top world quality of the Italian prog scene. For true fans such as myself, you will inevitably get to this album as it does represent the last leg of the band's original journey before all those rather lackluster reunion albums that would follow in the 21st century but as an OSANNA fanboy i do have to say that this is indeed the weakest of their original 70s run and i'm quite thankful that they realized that the magic was gone and time to move on.

 Landscape of Life by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.56 | 95 ratings

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Landscape of Life
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars After "Palepoli" from 1972, which is one of the very important albums of the Italian prog and which I personally consider a masterpiece, the band returns with the album "Landscape of Life" from 1974. Compared to "Palepoli", the band has simplified the music, focusing on progressive hard rock, which is more comparable to their debut "L'Uomo", which in my opinion is perfectly presented and incorporated into this fantastic album.

As far as this album is concerned, it is the Italian sung numbers on "Landscape Of Life" in which Osanna develop their own character and creativity, while in the English performed pieces they sound a lot like English-speaking bands, both in style and with the presentation of music. The numbers offer well-made hard rock, which always becomes slightly jazz-rock when D'Anna blows briefly in flute or sax, with some soulful-bluesy feel.

The band's skill finds yet another confirmation; songs like "Il Castello dell'Es" (probably the best piece on the disc, offers hard, guitar-heavy prog with corresponding vocals), "Fiume"(offers a relaxed, dreamy ballad, with playful flute sounds by D'Anna and filigree acoustic) or the title track can easily be counted among the most successful tunes from the band. "Somehow, Somewher, Sometime" is the worthy instrumental closure to a record that proves to be absolutely pleasant to listen. There is also jazzy sax and flute, beautiful Mellotron surfaces and groovy southern percussion.

 Landscape of Life by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.56 | 95 ratings

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Landscape of Life
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars OSANNA was certainly one of the Italian prog bands of the 1970s that stood out for its eccentric approach for crafting quality prog. By blending a mix of hard rock, folk, blues, jazz and Mediterranean folk flavors, this band not only stood out from the crowded scene with its eclectic hard driving idiosyncrasies but was known for putting on wild theatrical shows that actually predated Genesis with all the face paint stuff. The band was equally known for its fiery performances which placed them in the forefront of Italy's explosively creative progressive rock scene of the early 1970s.

Since the band's formation in 1970, guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Lino Vairetti and his buddies found that perfect middle ground between the world of early heavy rock, progressive folk and the more pastoral Genesis inspired symphonic prog but always had a knack for inserting bizarre avant-garde outbursts which made these guys one of the most unpredictable bands that was a crowd pleaser for the intensity in the live shows and was a favorite at events such as the Avant-garde Music Festival and New Trends in Viareggio.

The band catapulted to the top of the Italian scene with its first two albums "L'uomo" and the unfinished soundtrack music of "Milano Calibro 9" but with the third album "Palepoli" which showed the band firing on all prog firepower, OSANNA crafted one of the most stunning masterpieces of the entire progressive rock scene of the 70s much less that of Italy. The album has well stood the test of time and remains highly influential for its audacious approach of fusing the local folk flavors of its native Napoli into the incessant prog workouts with hard rock heft however it seems the band wasn't destined to carry on such greatness and began to falter with its fourth album LANDSCAPE OF LIFE which followed two years later in 1974.

This was a tumultuous time for the band as the various members started to squabble over the direction of where the music should go and therefore instead of crafting a proper followup to the perfection prog known as "Palepoli," OSANNA retrograded back to the less progressive hard rock band that incorporated jazz, blues and folk flavors on LANDSCAPE OF LIFE. Luckily the band hadn't quite lost all its creative mojo yet and was still able to craft satisfying prog rockers that implemented all the tricks and trinkets of heavy guitar riffs alternating with more pastoral symphonic prog sounds along with jazzy saxophone squawks, folky flute runs and plenty of organ, piano and mellotron.

While clearly a major step down from "Palepoli," LANDSCAPE OF LIFE isn't a terrible album in its own right and more comparable to the band's debut "L'uomo" only a little looser and less cohesive in quality. Unlike its predecessor that featured two side-swallowing single tracks and only a short intermission to separate them, OSANNA's fourth album is a collection of seven shorter tracks that rely on hard rock compositional dynamics as the blueprint to build upon. There seems to be two versions with the same tracks but different track order depending on if you have the original vinyl LP or the CD reissues and i have to say that it was wise to change the order because opening with the mopey pastoral title track belied OSANNA's rock and roll energetic drive.

For the most part LANDSCAPE OF LIFE is pretty good with only a few clunkers like the short but pointless "Promised Land." There is definitely a feeling of devolution on this album though as it's a weak followup to "Palepoli" and it certainly took a while for this one to sink in but after more careful attentive listens, LANDSCAPE OF LIFE is a decent album albeit in a more straight forward hard rock style with a few proggy moments as opposed to the unabashed prog jugular of the predecessor however it was clear that OSANNA had lost its momentum and it would only get worse from here.

3.5 but i'll round up cuz damn this is OSANNA!

 Palepoli by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.26 | 424 ratings

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Palepoli
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

5 stars The amazing thing is how much these brilliant musicians managed to deliver in two epics. The album offers a downright, consistently grandiose one surprise after another.

An almost immense number of different parts and styles is completed without the whole thing sounding too torn or misplaced. Mysterious music is followed by heavy hard rock riffing, suddenly guitar over calm chords, then again wonderful vocal melodies, then the Mellotron swells, a sax squeaks, plucked guitars - experimental but beautiful way of composing where everything has its place. The chaos on display on the album is controlled and all of the fragments, like pieces of a puzzle, come together to form a complete image.

This eclectic masterpiece is definitely one of the greatest achievements in the progressive world.

 L'Uomo by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.67 | 154 ratings

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L'Uomo
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

4 stars Osanna's debut album from 1971 is often overshadowed by the monumental later follow up, Palepoli. Even I had this pushed to the back of my to do list until I ran into an original copy online and jumped. I am glad I did, as this album is far more complex than I'd been led to believe.

Album opener Introduzione is a show stopper for a beginning-a song that transitions through several sections. It starts out as something that would have fit very easily on Hawkwind's contemporaneous second album In Search of Space-acoustic guitar driven proto space rock. Powerful sax riffs, great vocals, unexplained explosions to transition, and an underpinning of acid madness make this album fairly unique in Italian prog. Drums and guitars can wander but things never get too far from control. Some might point to pre Benefit Jethro Tull as a touch point, and that isn't that far off in some places, but overall Osanna have developed a sound that is all their own. These guys are a more harder edged and harder rocking version of Tull or any Italian bands extant at the time. A powerful evolution of pop into something distinctly Italian, albeit in this instance with a heavy dollop of acid in the mix. Yet they don't really fit in with the proto prog organ and guitar driven bands of 1971 very well, as they can dip into jazz and space rock adeptly. Already Danilo Rustici and Ellio D'anna on guitar and sax are already a force to be reckoned with on the scene. Side one is four songs, but really functions as a suite. The band also switches back and forth from Italian to English, but with the heavy reverb on the vocals one might not even notice this is happening.

Side two starts with a straightforward rocker Vado verso una meta. Second song In Un Vecchio Cieco features some of the most amazing complex vocal interplay heard in Italian rock, but disappears quickly much like many of their ideas seem to-there are so many to get into a song, some ideas are just not allowed to linger. Sometimes they dissolve into laughter in the recording booth at the absurdity of it all, only to confidently drop into third gear and deliver some very convincing British hard blues rock (Everybody's Gonna See You Die) at the drop of a hat. Finishes with the same acoustic guitar and In Search of Space electronics we came in on side one with. Wild and wooly stuff-early Hawkwind and early Tull filtered through early Plastic People of the Universe isn't too far off.

One of the more underrated linchpin albums of the early Italian prog scene, this album has it all-virtuoso sax and flute, a guitarist that can deliver riffs that explode out into the universe and acoustic guitar work that can bring you deep into yourself. It's highly recommended to all RPI fans, Hawkwind fans and fans of heavier prog. Great stuff.

So many sunsets......tonight....

4 stars

 Palepoli by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.26 | 424 ratings

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Palepoli
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

5 stars I originally ran across this in the late 80's on its Japanese first CD issue. I only had a handful of Italian prog beyond PFM at that point, and had never heard of Osanna. At the time, I thought it was sort of a chaotic version of Jethro Tull, but delved into some unexplained madness from time to time. Thirty years later, I found this on vinyl, and dug out my CD to drive around to while playing the LP at home on the real sound system. What I found was that I had missed out on one of the most original Italian bands to come out of the RPI scene.

Like contemporaries Hawkwind in the UK and Plastic People of the Universe in Czechoslovakia, Osanna were into face painting, costumes and a theatrical bent to their rock and roll. Oh, and like those bands, sounding 'pretty' never is in the equation. Opener Oro Caldo has field recording sounds with acoustic percussion and flute on top. Are we in North Africa? A dark alley in Naples? It is but a short atmospheric introduction to the instant jolt of being thrust into the middle of a full on tarantella party already in progress that fades in rock and roll style. Pulsing and throbbing bass underpins a twin guitar attack backed by furious drumming. Some nice backwards guitar effects (rarely seen in RPI) transition us to a quieter room outside the lively party we visited in the opening sections. Acoustic guitars and flute create a gentle early Genesis pastoral mood. This is one of the few moments of pastoral RPI on the album, but already Osanna show they are capable of operating on a pretty high level-different styles can confidently come out of nowhere, where other bands in 1972 trying this can sound awkward shifting gears from one section to another. King Crimson and VDGG moods are brought in by a bit of chanting and heavy mellotron which kicks off another rock journey courtesy of guitarist Danilo Rustici. He duels in a breakneck section with flautist Elio d'Anna reminiscent of Jethro Tull after a quick shot of stimulants. David Jackson would be a strong influence on d'Anna, especially on side two. A lengthy heavy guitar solo transitions us unnoticeably to the second song (going by the LP lyric innersleeve), Stanza Citta. Distorted vocals a la Peter Hammill give this song a heavy VDGG feel. Their ability create that wailing that makes a song teeter on the edge of being out of control is captured nicely here. A transition to acoustic guitar with harpsichord and synth is only a brief interlude before another dose of even heavier VDGG madness-at this point they are almost closer to the Plastic People than Van der Graaf. If this riff was on a VDGG album, it would be hailed to this day as one of their crowning achievements-clattering nearly out of tune with synthesizers gurgling atonally but quietly...suddenly things go quiet. A backwards version of the beginning of the album fades in and out Beatles style while the acoustic accompaniment from the first minute of the album give us a symmetrical outro. Acid madness you rarely see in an Italian band. Overall, side one has thrown a mind boggling array of styles at the listener. A bit too harsh for pastoral fans, but my god this is some impressive stuff. How had I missed this 30 years ago? (answer: didn't listen all that closely)

Side two is where the fun really begins. Starting with a dark riff straight from the Plastic People's sax driven bag of tricks, the side long Animale Senza Respiro is the centerpiece of the album-it is easy to compare this to Plague of Lighthouse Keepers in a way, but this song goes far beyond the powerful madness of that classic. Atmospherics kick in quickly with gentle singing and arpeggiating guitar that with the addition of mellotron comes as close to PFM as they get on the album. More sax freak outs (nice through wah pedal-a Jackson and Nik Turner trick back in the day). A quick shift to a riff lifted from Wake of Poseidon keeps things moving. I need to stop here and point out that although many other bands are listed as reference, Osanna are greater than their parts. A little electronic breakdown from Space Ritual leads to an unrelated beautiful little pastoral acoustic guitar and vocal that bears little resemblance to the organized madness we have experienced so far. But we are once again dropped into the Hawkwind space cavern. (I had a friend who swore this was the Italian version of Hawkwind circa 1971, and Palepoli was his go to lava lamp watch the walls melt album much like Space Ritual was for the UK in the 70's). More delicate pastoral guitars, vocals and gentle flute and mellotron create another quick oasis of peace, but with these guys, it is usually the calm before the storm. Some beautiful choral harmonies show these guys could really sing well, though we don't get much more of a glimpse of the group vocal talents past this section. We aren't much more than halfway through this 22 minute song and a ridiculous amount of moods, tempo shifts, instruments and ideas have been thrust out-more than most RPI bands would use in a whole career. Heavy guitar comes back and the furious hybrid of VDGG/Plastic People takes over-with a raucous hint of what Area would bring to the table only a year later. A roller coaster multi vocalist tongue twister brings a strong Plastic People vibe over the opening theme of side two. It seems we are done, but a somber solo church organ leads to the final section grand finale like you would get in a movie. You have been on a full sensory overload trip. Stunning in conception.

During side two I thought 'I wish there was just a little more guitar" followed by the quite reasonable observations "where would they put it, it's already so crowded in there". The only knock on this would be the recording quality-some instruments tend to unintentionally fade into the background and get lost in this very busy mix.

Dense, rich, widely varying and sanity challenging stuff... this is definitely not for the timid. One of the more challenging and certainly perhaps the most rewarding album in all Italian rock.

5 stars almost is not enough for how good this record is. One of the top 5 albums in RPI without a doubt, and any fans of VDGG or the Plastic People should run out and get this immediately.

 Palepolitana by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.48 | 75 ratings

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Palepolitana
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars While Italian progressive rock band OSANNA was one of the hottest tickets on the Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) scene in the early 70s, the band pretty much fizzled out after their landmark masterpiece "Palepoli" unleashed in 1973 which after its release band infighting and musical interests ripped them apart. After a couple less than perfect albums that followed they called it quits, however lead singer Lino Vairetti has been trying mostly in vain to resurrect the band's original lineup ever since with a couple of lackluster albums in the early 21st century under the OSANNA name with different lineups. It took me by surprise that a good 42 years after the release of their most celebrated album "Palepoli" that Vairetti would put together a totally new lineup under the OSANNA moniker and not only release an album of new material but include a second disc which is a completely new recording of their 1973 classic. Cleverly titled PALEPOLITANA, this new album is clearly making references to those glory days in the hopes of reviving interest if not a bonafide rekindling of the past. While OSANNA in their heyday never consisted of more than five band members, this new era of the band consists of six official band members with an additional five guest vocalists and musicians including David Jackson of Van Der Graaf Generator on sax and flute.

Needless to say, i have never been a fan of albums such as "Landscape Of Life" and "Suddance" as they were very much downers after the progressive rock brilliance of "Palepoli" which has weaseled its way into my top 100 album list of all time (if listening time counts for these things.) So awaiting a new OSANNA album has never really been on my radar as i count them as down and out and nothing, absolutely nothing could ever rekindle the magic afoot on the first three albums which culminated on their third. And just as i predicted, after all the expectations that just maybe the unthinkable be true, turns out was just a false alarm. That's not to say PALEPOLITANA isn't a worthy effort by any means but certainly not the return to past glories that propelled them to the top of Italy's prog scene. Like the albums of the old days, all lyrics are sung in Italian just like a good Italian prog album should be. In fact i swear that Italians have immortal vocal chords because Vairetti sounds like he hasn't lost one little iota of his vocal prowess over the four decades since OSANNA was at their peak.

Disc One consists of the album PALEPOLITANA and despite a slow symphonic start that gave me a gut wrenching fear that the album was recorded in a nursing home somewhere outside of Naples complete with aging groupies to pick up any dentures that may have been spit out in the making of the album, i soon realized that in many ways Vairetti still has his magic mojo as one track after another churns out rather well polished addictive melodies completely frosted with Neapolitan folk hooks, heavy rock embellishments and gutsy sax and harmonica solos that harken to the good old days for the band. In fact, musically speaking, PALEPOLITANA is the best thing that has been put out under the OSANNA name SINCE "Palepoli." The disc is a varied one with a preponderance of Italian folk fueled rockers like "Santa Lucia," tender ballads such as "Anni Di Piombo" and more progressive hard rocking numbers such as the title track that is the one that most reminds me of past greatness. Perhaps the most out of character track on the entire disc is the super sappy "Canzone Amara" which is a duet between Vairetti and Sophya Baccini which makes me think of a winner of Italy's version of American Idol or even worse yet the worst of American AOR from the 80s.

Disc Two is a completely reworked and recorded version of "Palepoli." Ugh, i dreaded listening to this one. I mean, i can understand re-recording an album that you got wrong in the past but why in the world would you want to mar your magnum opus? Granted they tagged this on more as a bonus disc rather than an album itself but still?. WHY?!!!! Ok, after the shock and awe of knowing one of my favorite albums was about to be "updated" and presumably "perfected," i took a deep breath and then i pushed play. OK. It starts out similar. The notes seem to be all the same. The band really can keep up with the demanding frenetic workouts that this album contains BUT?. it's not the same of course. First of all, I DID NOT WANT a remake of "Palepoli." I DID WANT a remastering though. The differences are stark despite the band's best attempts to remain as faithful to the original as possible. While Vairetti absolutely nails his vocal parts to a T showing him to be a singer of the utmost caliber, the main problem is that this version lacks the crazy freneticism and spontaneity that the original displayed in full force. This new version sounds way too polished and the production is far too slick for its own good with subtle atmospheric embellishments creeping in and castrated guitar licks where once hyperactive jittery freak outs once existed. I should be clear that this is beautifully done. If this was the very first time i ever heard this, i'd give it four stars as it blows away almost anything of recent memory in compositional prowess. However, this is not the very first time and this version just doesn't hold a candle to the original as it is far too calculated and a "light" version of the past glory.

Overall, i'm conflicted about PALEPOLITANA. While my initial listen left me cold and i shelved it for over a year before i tackled it again, i have to say that a few more listens has left me with a warmer reception of it. I'm talking about the new tracks. The remake of "Palepoli" still rubs me the wrong way but i listened to it again for the sake of this review and while very well performed, seems by the numbers and lacks the fiery passion of the original. The main problem i have with PALEPOLITANA is not that it doesn't contain twelve beautifully crafted tracks that are catchy and well performed, it's more that OSANNA has always been a progressive rock band in my book and the progressive part is what's really on low flame on this one. This is more of a catchy pop rock type of album designed for some commercial crossover potential. While i'm not against that kind of music in any way, it has left me a little underwhelmed in this case simply because of the rekindled connections to the band's most prized contribution to the prog rock world. While i'm not sorry that i sought this out and have placed it in my collection, i at the same time can only consider this a very good supplemental album to my RPI collection and not essential in any way.

 Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona  [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.57 | 97 ratings

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Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)]
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Sandwiched between the group's energetic and eclectic debut "L'Uomo" and the progressive landmark album "Palepoli" which has immortalized them forever in the progressive rock history books was a short little album that has gone by two titles and barely clocks in over a half of an hour in running time. Originally released as PRELUDIO, TEMA, VARIAZIONI E CANZONA, this second album by OSANNA is actually a progressive rock soundtrack for the Italian film MILANO CALIBRO 9 which is also the second title that it has been released as. While credited as an OSANNA album proper as it is performed exclusively by the face-painting band from Naples, several of the tracks were written by the pianist and composer Luiz Enrique Bacalov who not only wrote several of the tracks but also tackled the arrangements as well as serving as director of the orchestrations.

Despite this not being a total-control type of OSANNA album and designed to serve the mood of the film (which i've never seen) it still sounds very much like the same musicians who performed on "L'Uomo" and "Palepoli." The film itself was based on the book of the same name CALIBRO 9 (meaning "caliber 9") and was about a small-time gangster who, once released from prison, had to convince the police, his friends and his girlfriend that he was going straight and done with the criminal world however everyone around him believes he has a stash of cash nearing the 300,000$ range hidden somewhere. The music is primarily instrumental with a couple tracks offering Lino Vairetti's signature vocal style. The music despite being suited for a soundtrack sounds very much like the eclectic OSANNA of the surrounding albums with Danilo Rustici's signature guitar riffing, Elio D'Anna's distinct flute and sax contributions and Massimo Guarino's equally unambiguous drum patterns.

Soundtracks are tricky beasts to rate and review since they are more often than not so inextricably intertwined with the theme and mood of the film in which they appear, so i personally have to have a connection with the music independently since a soundtrack without the film is and should be held up to scrutiny independently. This soundtrack to MILANO CALIBRO 9 certainly does just that. While i have no idea how it fits in to the movie itself, i actually find this one a beautiful listening experience. OSANNA may have fewer rocking moments compared to other albums as this one is very much a trade off of harder rock with symphonic classical orchestrated segments but it works quite successfully. While the classical parts may sound more like a generic soundtrack material, OSANNA more than adds enough of their idiosyncratic take on progressive rock so as to leave no doubt as to who the stars of this show are.

While based in a melodramatic classical style, OSANNA let's loose with raucous heavy rocking guitar and freaked out electronica. There are a number of effects like back masking that are quite effective and the OSANNA type song structures as heard on "L'Uomo" are plentiful. For me this one more than works as a musical statement outside of the context of the film's theme and delivers a very satisfying mix of stellar written tracks that take the approach of "L'Uomo" and create a fully formed fusion with classical soundtrack type score music. Nothing seems forced as the two styles play around together and except for the rather insipid ballad type vocal number "Canzona (There Will Be Time)" which ends the album, i'm actually quite fond of every other track. OSANNA would fizzle out quickly after "Palepoli" but on this one they still flaunt their musical mojo even if they weren't calling all the shots.

 L'Uomo by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.67 | 154 ratings

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L'Uomo
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Emerging in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius in the southern Italian city of Napoli (Naples), one of Italy's premiere progressive rocking bands OSANNA set the stage for many others to follow. The band consisted of Lino Vairetti (vocals, 12-string guitar, harmonica, organ, synth), Danilo Rustici (guitar, organ), Massimo Guarino (drums), Elio D'anna (flute, piccolo, saxes) and Lello Brandi (bass) and although they would only delivery three albums before the band members began ruffling each others feathers and the friction would smother the creative juices, none of that appears on their debut L'UOMO (The man or mankind.) Right from the start OSANNA were attention getters in their live setting by wearing long cult leader like vests and were amongst the very first rock acts to don face paint and engage in theatrical stage antics. Rumor has it that Genesis who chose them to open up for them in those early days very well may have taken some of these influential performance tricks with them once the bands went their own ways.

While it is almost universally accepted that OSANNA's creative peak was with the grandiose and masterful "Palepoli," it would be a mistake to write off the earlier albums as mere warm-ups for that shining moment of Rock Progressivo Italiano. All their trademark elements are already fully functional on this debut. Lino Vairetti lures you in with his signature rock vocal style while Danilo Rustici nailed it with his best heavy psych / blues rock meets Neopolitan and Mediterranean riffing styles. Add in the 60s acid flashbacks of psychedelic effects, high-powered heavy rock attacks from out of the blue interspersed with soft and sensual acoustic segments often decorated with the jazzy touches of a sax, the sensuousness of folky flute and down-home country feel of a harmonica and you will realize that OSANNA mastered a great number of musical moods, timbres and genres and mixed them so well that you can hardly tell that they're not supposed to be there!

For a progressive rock album, L'UOMO is very much a collection of shorter tracks that despite having progressive touches was still in that transition phase of straight forward heavy rock and full-blown progressive rock pomp and awe. This album was designed to be accessible and awe-inspiring simultaneously and achieves the marriage of both aspects of rock quite successfully. The beauty of early OSANNA is how they can nurture the most addictive melodies and manage to pass the baton from musician to musician as they can manage to fit acoustic guitar, flute solos, harmonica wailing and heavy filthy rock augmented by sax and psychedelia often within the same track! After some careful examination it would appear that the classic "Palepoli" merely sews all the elements laid out here albeit in a more sophisticated fashion under the guise of single tracks whereas on L'UOMO it's a tad more disjointed and displays the freneticism of a passionate energetic band getting their feet wet.

While the Italian rock scene stalwartly incorporated their native Italian language to their music, OSANNA was testing the ground with three tracks in English most likely observing the huge success of the British invasion and other neighboring European nations jumping on the English language bandwagon. These three tracks are certainly the most hard rocking numbers of the album however i feel they detract from the overall continuity of the album a bit and i would definitely prefer that L'UOMO would have been exclusively in the beautiful Italian language. Despite the ability to put L'UOMO under the microscope for decades and reveal its flaws, this debut album remains a steadfast place marker in Italian progressive rock history where the 60s and 70s were getting all cozy with each other and ultimately spawning new offspring and not to mention that this is a damn good listen to boot! Yeah, "Palepoli" wins the progressive rock wars but L'UOMO remains a more light-hearted collection of instantly addictive tracks that elevate this one to the ranking as my second favorite OSANNA album!

 Osanna & David Jackson: Prog Family by OSANNA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.62 | 51 ratings

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Osanna & David Jackson: Prog Family
Osanna Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Themes

Like most I know David Jackson as one of the members of the classic line-up of Van Der Graaf Generator, but I recently "re-discovered" him through his participation in The Rome Pro(g)ject - a progressive Rock project led by Italian musician Vincenzo Ricca and in which Jackson (or "Jaxon" as he is sometimes known) appears alongside Steve Hackett and several other Prog luminaries. I found Jackson's contributions to The Rome Pro(g)ject impressive - particularly his flute playing - much more so than his role in Van Der Graaf Generator (a band I like, but don't love).

My renewed interest in Jackson led me to investigate what else he has been doing outside of Van Der Graaf Generator and it was in this way that I came across the present release credited to David Jackson and the Italian band Osanna. The album is nicknamed "Prog family" and features also a number of other musicians including ex-King Crimson violinist David Cross (who, like Jackson, also contributed to The Rome Pro(g)ject).

I was previously unfamiliar with Osanna, but as far as I understand the material on this album consists mainly of re-recorded and re-arranged versions of songs that originally appeared on that band's albums from the 1970's. Whilst I cannot say how these new versions compare to the old, I can say that this is a good and enjoyable album in its own right. Also included is a version of George Martin's Theme One, a number also performed by Van Der Graaf Generator.

The music is eclectic with elements of Jazz, Blues, Folk, etc. within a heavy Rock framework. The vocals are predominantly in Italian language but some parts are sung in English. Perhaps it would have been better to choose one language or the other rather than alternating between Italian and English, but the main attraction at least for me is the instrumental aspects.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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