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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Italy


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Accordo Dei Contrari biography
"Imagine the dynamics of life as depicted through sounds; or the contrasts you see in everyday life, expressed in light and colours. This is what many artists have tried to do in the past, and still try to do today, in their own language. This is what we try to do now, and will try to do tomorrow, in our own language. We just try to capture our daily impressions, no matter whether this is progressive rock or not." (Accordo dei Contrari, from an interview on the Progarchives, February 2011).

Welcome to Accordo dei Contrari's music. The band is actually a unit of four different people, each with his own life, experience and (sometimes opposite) view-points. This is the reason for the name Accordo dei Contrari, which by the band's self-definition, means `Council of the Opposites'.

Accordo dei Contrari was formed in 2001 in Bologna, Italy, conceived as a vehicle for making original instrumental music. For three years they worked as a trio with Cristian Franchi on drums, Giovanni Parmeggiani on keyboards and Alessandro Pedrini on guitar. In 2003 Daniele Piccinini joined the band on bass, but soon Alessandro Pedrini departed. They became a quintet in January 2004 with Daniele Piccinini on bass, Marco Marzo on guitar and Vladimiro Cantaluppi on violin in addition to the remaining Franchi and Parmeggiani. After two years of rehearsals they understood that being a quintet was a simple-minded way of doing things, and in 2006 Vladimiro left the band, making the best choice at the worst time - just one month before recording. Paradoxically, Accordo dei Contrari, born to refuse to work as a quartet, recorded their very first work as a quartet (Cristian Franchi on drums, Giovanni Parmeggiani on keyboards, Daniele Piccinini on bass, Marco Marzo on guitar), and the album `Kinesis' was the result. With two days of live-recording in studio in June 2006, with short overdubs of violin and sax in October-November 2006, `Kinesis', released on AltrOck in 2007, was critically acclaimed and won the Progaward for the best Italian album of progressive rock in 2007.

Since 2007, the band have focused their attention on improvisation, polyrhythms, and on playing together and interacting musically on stage, truly wanting to grow as a living rock group. They performed some gigs during the period of 2008-2009 in Europe (AltrOck festival in Milan, Italy; Progrésiste in Verviers, Belgium; Cheese Prog festival in Strasbourg, France; Gong festival in Parma, Italy; Freaksh...
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AdCAdC
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AltrOck
Audio CD$21.99
KublaiKublai
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Accordo Dei Contrari
Audio CD$21.99
KinesisKinesis
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Phantom Sound & Vision 2008
Audio CD$28.99 (used)

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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI discography


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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 44 ratings
Kinesis
2007
3.84 | 72 ratings
Kublai
2011
3.60 | 20 ratings
AdC
2014

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ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 AdC by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.60 | 20 ratings

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AdC
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

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

4 stars Three albums in for Bologona band Accordo dei Contrari, and as expected of this Italian group, sublime and frenetic fusion displays are the order of the day (I'm fairly reluctant to use the `jazz' with that usual description though), and they've truly stepped up and taken their music in bigger directions than ever before. In addition to this perhaps being their busiest, noisiest fusion work yet, they've also added sophisticated classical flights, Post-Rock cinematic flavours, more Rock in Opposition/Avant textures and ambient passages to truly offer no better definition of a `fusion' of styles! Enviable technical displays played with passion and fire, it's constant never-ending musical eruptions effortlessly flowing from one seamless movement to the next and back, always melodic and endlessly groovy. There's still little references to other Italian fusion acts like D.F.A, Arti e Mestieri and the Canterbury sounds from the previous album, but the Accordo members are definitely forging their own path and have never sounded so tight and focused.

`Nadir' opens with groaning unfolding spacey electronics and ends on serrated jagged feedback, with wild guitar strums, slow-building giddy drumming, liquid bass and glistening electric pianos spiralling into controlled chaos throughout the centre of the piece. Some bits are like a schizophrenic take on the `Abraxis/III'-era Santana band, with moments of heavy grunt and softly building ambient builds back and forth too. The infectious playful `Dandelion' offers muscular twisting electric guitar/bass grooves over an exhausting mix of tempos that will have you grinning wildly! Violin and piano pirouette around the opening of `Seth Zeugma', offering a surprising dose of R.I.O/Avant Garde experimentation, but before long snappy drum lunges, molten bass spasms and hellfire Hammond rip through the fanciful classical sophistication, racing dizzying circles around the listener. Some of the Hammond aggression near the end even briefly calls to mind parts of Delirium's classic third album.

The overwhelming `Dua' will drive you to madness with a wicked glee, with surprisingly intimidating suffocating Hammond madness over endless looping piano/bass attacks. Improvisation `Tiglath' opens and closes with creeping late-night tip-toeing electric piano suspense to reverberating ambience along the lines of the Soft Machine's pitch-black `Fifth' album, with snarling slow-burn electric guitar strangulations, violated Hammond runs and intimidating rumbling percussion crescendos rising up from the pits of the Earth. `Piu' Limpida...part 2' closes the album with some sedate acoustic guitar, piano and droning cello Post-rock prettiness.

Sometimes a self-titled work can suggest an artist running low on inspiration, other times it can mean they are so confident with the results that they feel it's worthy of being considered their defining statement. The latter must certainly be the case for Accordo Dei Contrari here, and on the strength of `AdC', it's proof of a band slowly redefining what jazz/fusion can mean, not only for themselves, but for their listeners and lovers of the genre. Three great works from this talented band so far, and I still feel their best is yet to come!

Four stars.

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 AdC by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.60 | 20 ratings

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AdC
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak

4 stars The AdC music I hear on AdC has finally achieved what their previous albums failed to do: engaged and pleased me. Melodies I actually remember after songs are over, songs I actually know by name and chose specifically, willingly, longingly to put on my iPod playlists. They have always felt accomplished as musicians--technical wizards, each--but something was missing. As it turns out, it was the fresh, original and memorable constructs that I hear on this album. I've heard that AdC's concert appearances are quite impressive--other reviewers seem to always write with a bit of a stunned awe at what they observed and heard live. Perhaps with this album they have finally captured that jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring sound that they've been reported to convey on stage. Perhaps the roles and contributions of each of the seemingly-committed band members have been clearly established so that they can write and record cohesive, joy- expressing music. If I have any complaints it is that the recording sometimes feels a bit sterile, lacking human frailty.

Favorite songs: the SANTANA/STEELY DAN-like jam, 1. "Nadir" (9/10), the Hendrix-plays-with- The-Softs-sounding, 2. "Dandelion" (9/10), the slow-building DIAGONAL-like 5. "Tiglath" (8:28) (9/10), and the lovely Windham Hill-sounding pastoral acoustic ensemble of 6. Piu Limpida e Chiara di Ogni Impressione Vissuta (Pt.2) (3:21) (8/10).

Nice work, Contrarians!

4 stars.

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars Accordo dei Contrari's Kublai carries the torch for bands like the Mahavishnu Orchestra and King Crimson. Written and recorded in the same vein as classic progressive albums, this 45 minute gem sounds much more coherent than your average 65 minute, 14 song progressive album put out today. Guitar, synths, and percussion shine and bring to mind songs like Can Can and the Coastliners and Red - classic prog. I hope these guys bring their skills to more albums because their vintage sound has an audience out there waiting to be discovered. Like Miriodor, this group deserves more play on progarchives.com. 4 stars

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars really

Accordo dei Contrari is a well known and respected progressive/jazz rock band from Italy with two albums in their pockets so far. Kublai is the second offer released in 2011 and is to my ears a winning one. I like that the album is quite diverse in compositions, from jazz rock passages to prog rock elements added and even some canterbury moments are present, we have here on L'ombra di un sogno the famous Richard Sinclair who sings, the song being dedicated to his dog who just passed away. The album is all instrumental minus the piece where Siclair are present with his voice . The opening track G.B. Evidence is excellent and sets the mood for what to come.Is an energic jazz rock tune with nice musicianship and great parts. Arabesque is a very intresting piece and as the title sugests has arabian atmosphere. All in all a good towards great album, I like it but I prefere for example other bands from Italy with same attitude and playing same type of prog jazz rock/fusion like The RedZen or Gran Torino, both bands being little more intresting for my taste then Accordo dei Contrari. 3.5 stars for Kublai.

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In 2011 Accordo dei Contrari released an excellent sophomore album "Kublai", confirming all the good promises of their debut. The line up is the same as in the previous work with two prestigious guests on one track, Richard Sinclair (vocals) and Antonio "Cooper" Cupertino (percussion). According to the band, Kublai represents ordered chaos, light and dark, the balance between written and improvised music.

The lively, jazzy opener "G.B. Evidence" is freely taken from a theme by Thelonious Monk. The band "prog" interpretation is absolutely convincing, full of energy with delightful keyboards rides alternating with frenzied electric guitar passages backed by a nervous rhythm section. Next comes "Arabesque", a long, complex track that recalls Area and features many Oriental influences. It's my favourite on this album, it starts softly and takes you far away for a long trip where you can smell spices and taste exotic fruits.

The following "Dark Magus" begins with the sound of a gong that, according to the band, marks the passage from the visible to the invisible. The atmosphere is tense, full of evocative passages where guitar and organ paint in chiaroscuro on their musical canvas. "L'ombra di un sogno" (Shadow of a dream) features Richard Sinclair on vocals. Richard Sinclair wrote the lyrics for this piece as well, a charming elegy for a lost companion, his beloved, faithful dog. Dreamy memories shine through this melancholic song of intense beauty.

"Più limpida e chiara di ogni impressione vissuta part I" (Clearer, brighter than any lived impression) is more aggressive and according to the band tries to describe the hopes and fears of everyone's life while the last track "Battery Park" was inspired by the gentle flow of the Hudson river on a windy and sunny day in February 2007 in New York City. Here gentle piano touches contrast with the thundering force of some guitar riffs in an effective way. Well, a perfect conclusion for a wonderful album!

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 Kinesis by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.72 | 44 ratings

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Kinesis
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Accordo dei Contrari come from Bologna and began life in 2001 on the initiative of Cristian Franchi (drums), Giovanni Parmeggiani (keyboards) and Alessandro Pedrini (guitar). After many years of hard work and some line up changes, in 2007 they released an excellent debut album, Kinesis, on the independent label AltrOck with a line up featuring Cristian Franchi (drums), Giovanni Parmeggiani (keyboards), Daniele Piccinini (bass) and Marco Marzo (guitar) plus two guest musicians, Fabio Berti (violin) and Giorgio Trefiletti (sax). The band's influences range from progressive rock and jazz-rock from the seventies to contemporary jazz and classical music but the final mix is surprisingly fresh and rich in ideas. The album is completely instrumental but the beautiful art work by Davide Guidoni and the words written by the band to comment the album tracks provide an interpretation for the sparkling music that flows away without weak moments for about 45 minutes.

The opener "Lester" is named after the American music journalist Lester Bangs and marks the beginning of a musical journey. After the first uncertain steps the pace becomes steady and full of vitality with the electric guitar in the forefront backed by pulsing bass lines. The following "Meghiste Kinesis" is darker and tense. According to the liner notes it tries to evoke the ghastly dance of an impending, unprovoked war. A man observes a threatening fleet approaching the coastline and the landing of a formidable army ready to fight...

"ScalaQuadro" is complex and full of musical colours. According to the liner notes it tries to describe the Muses climbing up a stairway to reach the top of a tower, ready to jump in the void for an extreme sacrifice. It's my favourite track on this album and features tense, hypnotic electric guitar riffs and a powerful crescendo with frenzied keyboard patterns. A calmer piano solo finale leads to the following "Gondwana", a musical evocation in four movements of the irresistible force of the continental drift and of the ties between East and West.

"Anexelenkton" is another excellent track that tries to break the barriers between different genres. The last track, "OM", is dedicated to the French organist and composer Olivier Messiaen and according to the liner notes consists of visionary apparitions and prepared concern. A perfect conclusion for a very good album!

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 Kinesis by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.72 | 44 ratings

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Kinesis
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Modern Progressive/Jazz-Rock act from Bologna, formed in 2001 as a trio with Cristian Franchi on drums, Giovanni Parmeggiani on keyboards and Alessandro Pedrini on guitar. In 2003 Daniele Piccinini joined the band on bass, while Pedrini quit and Accordo Dei Contrari became a quintet with Marco Marzo on guitar and Vladimiro Cantaluppi on violin.In 2006, just a month before beginning their first official recording, Cantaluppi left and the rest of the crew went on as a quartet and created the sound of ''Kinesis'', an album finally released in 2007 on AltrOck.

The style is powerful and fiery complicated Jazz-Rock with an energetic rich sound, characterized mostly by a solid rhythm section, heavy guitar riffing, grandiose almost RIO- delivered piano and haunting keyboards (synthesizers, organ and electric piano).It comes like a cross between KING CRIMSON, compatriots ASSOLO DI BOGNO, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and FROGG CAFE with the band trying to mix tight complex ideas with plenty of isolated jamming solos by guitars, bass and keyboards, while a fair amount of violin and sax breaks add an extra dimension.''Kinesis'' flows as an album of changing moods and atmospheres with smoother parts leaving their place to bombastic interplays, dynamic radical shifts and endless solos.The approach is really professional with the quartet managing to offer a huge sound overall, but present are also some cold emotionless moments along with the obvious lack of any sense of melody.The most interesting moments to my ears belong to the excellent electric piano/guitar battles and the lovely violin lead moments.

A fantastic album for any kind of Jazz-Rock/Fusion/RIO/Avant Prog lover, having a rich, technical and grandiose sound all the way, but a bit emotionless for the rest of prog fans, still recommended with a cloudy questionmark next to a recommendation.

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Accordo Dei Contrari is in position of going beyond the light of their brilliant debut album and seek to create new combinations of luminosity and shade in their jazz-prog vision. The factual proof of that is sustained in the repertoire of their recent sophomore release "Kublai", an album that shouts out its musical grandiosity in an imperial level. No doubt in my mind that this item should have a place assured in any Top 10 of 2011. All throughout this album's setlist, the band shows all the elements of its creative versatility, skill and energy, which makes it a perfect case of revitalization of some of the most excellent heritages of various jazz-rock and prog schools. 'G.B. Evidence' opens up the album with a solid mixture of 73-75 RTF and 75-77 Weather Report: an evident homage to the greatness of 70s American fusion performed with infinite elegance. Sophistication and energy become one sole force, especially in the middle section where the drummer states a frantic 15/8 tempo and the guitar leads the nucleus of a jam that ultimately signals the track's further development. After this impressively muscular beginning, 'Arabesque' displays a refreshing new set of moods in a 12 ½ minute scope. The title makes it clear that the Arabesque thing will be an important asset in the track's main structure, and in fact, the very prologue consists of an oud solo that lasts 3 minutes. Then, the first main motif brings exotic flavors in a very robust manner, something like Niacin-meets-RTF. Later on, things return to a more constrained mood when the ensemble retakes the prologue's motif and gives it a more electrically based reshaping, a strategy that proves tremendously fruitful when the psychedelically tense coda brings an explosive momentum a-la Area. Magnificent!, grandious!... nothing else tos ay. And there's more greatness in the near horizon for the listener, since 'Dark Magus' creates a monumental musical journey. Starting with a gong bang and somebody's steps, the main body displays a fluid combination of vibrant swing (by the rhythm duo) and robust guitar-keyboard interplaying. A thematic shift, announced soon after the 3 minute barrier but only properly installed one minute later, brings back the band on the jazz-rock path with its own flavors. One third motif finds the band exploring Gentle Giant-meets-D.F.A. territory, a great one indeed? but too short! Anyway, the sonic implosion that ends the track feels impressive and effective. And now, here comes the track with Canterbury Maestro Richard Sinclair as guest in it. I'm referring to 'L'Ombra Di Un Sogno', of course. The band's compositional scheme is complex regarding chord variations and motif shifts, with its proper dose of ornaments, yet the overall mood is relaxed. And how is its stylistic strategy? ? 40% of Hatfield's first album, 30% of Matching Mole's second album (Sinclair sounds very Wyatt-ish here, actually) , 15% of Bruford's first album and 15% of Henry Cow's first album. The "birds singing in the forest" FX provide a convenient light humor, a very Canterbury thing. Not only that, it also states a strategic contrast to the electrifying vigor of 'Più Limpida E Chiara Di Ogni Impressione Vissuta, Part I', arguably the most incendiary piece in the album: it serves as a simultaneous tribute to Hammer-era Mahavishnu and "Seventh Galaxy"-era RTF. The album's last 6+ minutes are devoted to 'Battery Park', a piece whose vibe is more connected to early Arti E Mestieri and the piano-oriented works of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Its initial lyrical mood has a groovy feel to it, intimate yet not introspective; later on, the instrumental drive is enhanced with a greater dose of expressive power, convincingly equaling the extroverted aura of the album's first 2 pieces; finally for the last 90 seconds, the mood becomes calmer and solemn, as if it were an invitation to take a rest and exercise contemplation. And so ends this magnificent album. This Accordo Dei Contrari's sophomore release is a must for those who intend to appreciate the best progressive music made this year? IMHO, of course.

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars This one is definitely more Canterbury-like than the more typical Avant/RIO that seems to be gushing out of AltrOck Productions. Long flowing, floating, forming, instrumental jams with a fairly small, straightforward jazz-oriented rock combo. My favorite part of the album is the riveting oud playing in the first half of "Arabesque" (7/10). Keyboards are very interesting, except I often found myself wishing they were a little more forward in the mix (as the guitar is). Though the voice and lyrical presentation of Richard Sinclair on "L'ombra di un sogno" (6/10) is familiar and comforting, it seems to come from an age long past--one that doesn't necessarily want to be resurrected. Not my favorite kind of guitar and key sounds. "Battery Park" (8/10), with its simplicity and pleasant melodies (and full use of acoustic piano), is far and away my favorite song. Great jazz piano work.

IMO, this is fairly standard--though high quality--Canterbury jazz rock. Nothing to write home about. Heard a lot of this in the 1970s. Good, but non-essential.

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 Kublai by ACCORDO DEI CONTRARI album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.84 | 72 ratings

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Kublai
Accordo Dei Contrari Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Impressive instrumental jamming

I missed out on the Accordo debut album so "Kublai" was in fact my initiation to the band. The very first thought that popped into my head on the first play is that this is the band which will carry on for the legendary D.F.A. who may not be coming back after the death of one of their members, and the desire of the others to be close to their families. They also bring to mind some of my elder favorite Italian jazz bands like Free Wave System and Bella Band. These guys have that same combination of prowess on their instruments and refusal to fall into the too often "dry" mode of jazz/fusion, bringing instead much more color to the table. Without question my favorite part of the equation are the keyboards of Giovanni Parmegianni. Wild runs of bombastic organ jump off the map every now and again, thrilling in an old school way, linking the unquestionably forward-thinking edge of the group to an important portion of prog-rock's storied sound. Richard Sinclair delivers a very Robert Wyatt like vocal on "L'ombra di un Sogno" over a somber, somewhat more traditional jazz sound. The closing "Battery Park" is not surprisingly my favorite track as here they bring some piano into the mix. Throughout you can expect intelligent and high energy jamming where the interplay between musicians is impressive, the songwriting diverse, and an overall experience which leaves all of us wondering where they go next. I'm pretty sure this is not a group that will repeat themselves.

The cover which initially looks rather bland becomes much more interesting when you begin to stare at the designs inside the circle, I was having flashbacks to my old spirograph set. A fine second album, though not quite enough for the 4-star plateau in my book.

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Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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