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CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO

Prog Folk • Italy


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Canzoniere del Lazio biography
Canzoniere del Lazio were formed in Rome in 1972 and they are considered as one of the most important progressive folk bands in Italy during the seventies.

Their beginnings were strongly inspired by reworkings of central Italy traditional tunes based on a quartet of totally acoustic instrumentists. So their first album in 1973 ("Quando Nascesti Tune") which didn't have a particular success. Singer Sara Modigliani left after the album.

The others added new musicians, Pasquale Minieri and Giorgio Vivaldi who have been stable members since then. In 1974 CdL released "Lassa Sta' la Me' Creatura", strongly influenced by traditional music. A transitional work, with the appearence of electric instruments.

The best period in CdL career came with the following two classics, "Spirito Bono" and "Miradas".
The first of these containes just four tracks with long instrumental parts and traditional lyrics. It was produced by Peter Kaukonen (brother of JEFFERSON AIRPLANE's guitarist Jorma) .
The group played at the VI Festa del Proletariato Giovanile in Milan (and were also included in the Parco Lambro live compilation LP) and were ready to embark on an african tour when three of their members, Piero Brega, Luigi Cinque and Francesco Giannattasio left.

The others reformed the group with new members, and successfully played at the VII Political Music International Festival in East Berlin in february 1977. A beautiful album, recorded in studio during that tour, was only released in East Germany.
Their fourth album "Miradas" was released in 1977, with the production of former AREA guitarist Paolo Tofani (also known as ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN). Considered by many as their more mature work, it includes five songs, some of which show african music influences. The new members Clara Murtas on voice, Maurizio Giammarco on sax and Marcello Vento on drums (from ALBEROMOTORE) fit perfectly into the band's music.

The same line-up appears in the fifth and last album, "Morra" (1978) with three long tracks, again a good album but generally regarded as on a lower level than the previous two.
The LP, that was to be entitled "A Risciacquà li Piatti e la Paura", was released one year after the previous one and contains tracks recorded in the same session as the ones on "Miradas", but not included on that album.

After the band split Minieri and Vivaldi formed CARNASCIALIA, whose only excellent album in 1979 was an early example of world mus...
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CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO discography


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CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.35 | 7 ratings
Quando Nascesti Tune
1973
3.67 | 3 ratings
Lassa Sta' a Me Creatura
1974
3.61 | 8 ratings
Spirito Bono
1976
4.30 | 13 ratings
Miradas
1977
4.00 | 3 ratings
Morra 1978
1978

CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spirito Bono by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.61 | 8 ratings

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Spirito Bono
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Maybe the proggier of all Italian Folk bands, Canzoniere del Lazio originated from Roma with an initial line-up of multi-instrumentalist Carlo Siliotto, singers Piero Brega and Sara Modigliani and Francesco Giannattasio on accordion/percussion.The traditional Folk album ''Quando nascesti tune'' was released in 1973 on Dischi del Sole, followed by the departure of Modigliani and the arrival of multi-instrumentalist Pasquale Minieri, percussionist Giorgio Vivaldi and sax players Luigi Cinque and Gianni Nebbiosi.A second, more diverse release with a strong Folk content was released on Intingo label in 1974, entitled ''Lassa sta' la me creatura''.Another line-up change occured in 1975 with Nebbiossi leaving and entering the picture is drummer Piero Avallone.In 1976 a second album on Intingo was released under the title ''Spirito Bono''.

With their third studio album, recorded at Chantalain Studios in Rome and produced by Peter Kaukonen (brother of Jefferson Airplane's guitarist Jorma), Canzoniere del Lazio head towards the pinnacle of their sound.The style of the group is still deeply grounded in Folk fields, but the discreet use of electric instruments as well as the experimental mood of their stylistic approach shows a band ready to explore the unique possibilities of performing in looser forms.''Spirito bono'' contains two very long Prog Folk tracks, which swirl around traditional Italian Folk, Folk Rock and Experimental Music.In these tracks the band presents a rich sound full of acoustic interplays, weird interruptions towards more calm sections, psychedelic Italian vocals and a few electric moments with good use of guitars.The compositions are quite loose as aforementioned and range from tight moves with alternating acoustic sections to chaotic soundscapes with an experimental touch, that might bother the average listener, but still sound quite charming.Among these long pieces the group offers also a couple of shorter tracks.''Ballu'' is closer to Italian Folk, featuring heavy use of percussions and wind instruments, while ''Morte di Pulcinella'' has a very strong Chamber Folk aura, propably due to heavy use of sax and violins in a hypnotic and dark-sounding enviroment, supported by obscure vocal work.

''Spirito Bono'' sounds extremely tasteful for all fans of Prog Folk and all mystified lovers of acoustic instrumentals.Additionally I would definitely recommend this album to anyone willing to realize how Folk Music can transform into more rockin' forms without the strong presence of electric instrumentation.Unique dicovery to say the least.

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 Miradas by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.30 | 13 ratings

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Miradas
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A couple of key members ( Minieri & Vivaldi) from this band would later form CARNASCIALIA after this band disolved, and that one album they released in 1979 is incredible ! Like this particular album it is maybe more Avant than Folk but hey they could be called either or both I suppose. AREA's guitarist is the producer here and I should mention that Demetrio from AREA sang on that CARNASCIALIA record, so yes there is a connection there.

"Nu Gatto Come Nu Lione" has this repetitive beat as the violin, sax and more come and go. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes and he's really yelling the words but they are brief. The beat settles back 4 minutes in as sounds come and go. Distant sounding vocals can be heard as well. It kicks in with vocals after 6 minutes. Catchy stuff. The vocals are again brief and it does settle back again. "Glorias" has a beat with violin and more. it kicks in before a minute with vocals as he yells the lyrics. Again like the last song they are brief but they do come and go here. Sax leads after 4 minutes as the vocals are again yelled as the beat continues. Violin too and then the violin starts to lead. The vocals are insane late (haha).

"Zandamela (Timbilas)" is experimental with lots of intricate sounds throughout. It blends into "Poeta (Borgata Camion)" where it settles some and the piano joins in. Sax after 5 minutes as it builds. Vocals 6 minutes in. Man he has a different sounding voice. "Mogadishu" is fairly uptempo with different sounds helping out. Vocals before a minute. This is catchy but crazy. Percussion leads 3 minutes in. Cool sound. It leads right through to 5 1/2 minutes then some insane sax? takes over with piano and a beat. Vocals are back 9 minutes in. Oh my ! The violin starts to rip it up when the vocals stop.

Another adventerous and challenging album. I've been digesting a lot of these lately. This one took a while to appreciate.

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 Miradas by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.30 | 13 ratings

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Miradas
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

5 stars Imagine the wedding scene in Godfather where Michael Corleone marries a young beautiful girl in Sicily. Add some drumming from a speed-freak with nervous twitches, a violinist playing strange circus themes whilst semi-drunk mixed with wild monkey-like cries in the background and you are close to the opening song of "Miradas".

The folk tag these guys got hanging from their shoulders should definitely be taken loosely, as some of the music found here is downright avant-gart-ish, and other times approaching extremely weird psychedelic territory. Then again, you can really hear the folkish melodies, the, at times, soft woodwinds and the violin bringing with them, that special feeling of sitting on a mustard yellow rock in Corleone eating oranges right from the tree, whilst people in traditional festive clothes are twirling - ferociously dancing around yelling: Yeah Yeah to the saxophone player! I am deeply addicted to this record, and it gives me some of the same vibes and wild energy, that I get from Area, which should come as little surprise, when you see that Area guitarist Paolo Tonati is listed here as producer.

This music makes you jump around like a mad frog in nikes while you´re juggling kiwis and hot potatoes - spewing large quantities of chocolate milk all over your cat - who actually seems to like it (your dancing). One thing that is recurring during most of the album in some form, is the appearance of strange and exotic percussions, - in particular Zandamela. This track is a gentle piece of what could be marimbas and other stuff you can hit, but we are no way near a drum feast extraordinaire. It rather sounds meditative like a Japanese stone garden. At some point you loose sight of the drumming patterns, and it shifts into something like rain hitting a tin roof.

However this is not all funny beards and liquorice. This album manages to be completely crazy, and still have its fair share of bone chillingly beautiful sections, that will curl up your toes like pork rinds meeting sizzling hot oil. The final track "Mogadishu" implodes into some beautiful violin playing, that sounds so fragile, it would take a mere sneeze to instantly wipe it clear off the face of the planet. I simply love it! Or like the understated sax of "Poeta" that seems to oooze out of your speakers together with the vocals. The thing is, that all these different musical ideas are very well knitted together by CdL. Such a unique melting together of instruments and alternating tempers. A thing which their Italian brethren too was brilliant at, although this is quite a step from say Le Orme or even the more folkish Delirium. Miles away.

There are no weak songs, no dull moments and about a million different reasons, why this album should be in your collection. If you are into folk music with a twist, and a soul mad as marbles - you should pour this wonderful music into your ear like the finest sauce.

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 Miradas by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.30 | 13 ratings

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Miradas
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars With Miradas (look/glance in Spanish) is easily CDL's best achievement, but they were asisted by one of Italy's best group, Area. With former Area guitarist Paolo Tonati at the production helm, Miradas was released on the Cramps label (another area link), with another bronze age artwork on the outer gatefold and engaged left-wing newspaper articles on the inner gatefold in a typical Italian fashion.

Fast drumming, delicate electric guitar wailings, demented violin, light flutetwirls, strange yelled vocals in the backgrond are the main ingredients on Nu Gatto Come Nu Lionne (neither cat nor lion) while the other 10-min compagnion piece Glorias boasts is fairly similar folk rock, but with an added clarinet and a slight Gypsy twist. Both pieces are still very folk, but if not avant garde, they're sufficiently adventurous to be called rogressive and much worthy the progheads' attentions.

Once the flipside up, African drums greet you in the short Zandamela, percussions that segue without interuption into Poeta, an evolving 7 minutes track that brings you to an enchanting middle section where Giammerco's tenor sax mixed with the almost polyphonic vocals make it a real success. A percussion passage then a crazy demonstrative bass guitar, flamenco handclapping, than a soprano sax take over, with the piano's interventions keeping everything very tense, before triumphant trumpets and singing drives you to shake them shivers running down your spine. Yes, the closing Mogadishu track is easily CDL's crowning jewel.and it has nothing to do with their first folklore album.

Hopefully one dau, we'll see a Cd reissue for both Spirito Bono and Miradas, because both lbums are very much worth it. Most likely by now the vinyls have become rare, but don't hasiate if you see Miragas.

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 Spirito Bono by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.61 | 8 ratings

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Spirito Bono
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars Rounded up to the 4th star

This third album is where CDL comes of age, where they really start they "rock" career (lack of better words, since not much is actually rock or really electric, but the attitude is certainly prog) and maybe folkie Peter (Jorma's bro) Kaukonen's production of the album has something to do with it, but something has changed. Behind the bronze age artwork, CDL (now a sextet) this album present two epic-sized tracks and two "shorter" tracks that explores many facets pre-classical folk music (reminiscent of Third Ear Band and Gryphon), sometimes mixing it with some minimalism (think of Terry Riley), at others the same kind of madness that inhabits groups like Samla MM or Alamaailman Vasarat, but without the humour.

Starting out on the almost 17-mins Bailo In Re, Spiriti Bono is aptly titled, as it gives us plenty of folk adventures including wind instrument drones, violins and unfortunately for me, accordion (yuck!!). The track long meanders in different types of folk pieces found in Italy and Europe, from tarantella to sort of jigs, from Sard polyphonic vocals to semi-medieval music. The shorter Ballu is definitely more Mauresque or Turkish sounding and is reminiscent of Riley's music on Dervishes, mixed with a tad Andalucian folk. The flipside's Morte Del Pulcinella is a slow starter with a plazintive tone, so well given by the clarinet over a violin and a bowed bass, but slowly the Polichinelle's (that's a clown) spirit is revived through weird festive noises. The almost 16-mins closing title track (subtitled Coccodè) is another long adventure into the already-above-mentioned realm, this time the accordion and violin being a tad more present (and sounding like Dave Arbus) and in a way Third ear Band is just around the bend. The track does liger on a bit long, especially given the percussion solo just before the end

While this album is a stunning progressive folk album, I suggest that most progheads continue with their crowning achievement Miradas that will be released the following year on the Crac label from Area. In the meantime SB is much worth a listen!!!

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 Quando Nascesti Tune by CANZONIERE DEL LAZIO album cover Studio Album, 1973
1.35 | 7 ratings

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Quando Nascesti Tune
Canzoniere del Lazio Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

1 stars If you've only heard this album from CDL (and to my knowledge, this is the only one re-issued on CD), you'll be wondering what this group is doing in our PA. Yours truly fell into that trap and I thank the three Andreas to have convinced me to look further and find the album in vinyl that came after this one. Canzionere Del Lazio (singers of Latium) is not exactly a cool prog or even a rock name and their names fit quite well this album's music, but not at all with their further albums such as Miradas or Spirito Bono.

An all-acoustic quintet, these musicians pulled out from some long forgotten chests in old attics, some songs purely traditional, sometimes folk, but most likely songs that were sung in taverns around the Italian provinces of yesteryears. Unless you are really into the Italian traditional music and have a good mastery of the language, these songs are of limited interest (or none at all, depending) for progheads. Just simple uncomplicated songs with guitars or mandolin accompaniment singing La Dolce Vita, but also some historical political subjects, sometimes approaching tarantella, or at least hinting at it. In some ways this is folk, but nothing even remotely rock or folk rock.

If CDL is to interest you, it's most likely with their later albums, rather than this first collection of songs, which are too similar sounding to even bring one standing out of the bunch. Best Stayed away from, but this is not the case of other albums of theirs.

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