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CORTE AULICA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Corte Aulica biography
CORTE AULICA from Brescia is a relatively new band released by Mellow Records. The group formed in early 2006 with the stated mission "to create music which reminds of the Canterbury setting of the seventies, Camel, Caravan and Hatfield and the North above all, but at the same time keeping its strong originality both in the composing and in the sound." Led by the multi-talented composer and drummer from Notabene, Gus Pasini, the band features Nicola Gasperi (keys), Luca Saccenti (guitars, also of Lithos), and multi-instrumentalist Emanuele Jaforte (bass) who has a long musical history back to the 1970s, and who also is part of the fine fusion/jazz-rock project called Ypsilon. The majority of the material on "Il temporale e l'arcobaleno" (The Storm and the Rainbow) was written by Pasini who contributed the fabulous cover art as well. Their debut was recorded in late 2006 and mixed at Noise studio in Brescia. It features smooth and easy to enjoy melodic prog. Recommended for fans of Italian symphonic who may enjoy also a Canterbury twist. [James Russell]


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3.61 | 14 ratings
Il temporale e l'arcobaleno
2007

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CORTE AULICA Reviews


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 Il temporale e l'arcobaleno by CORTE AULICA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.61 | 14 ratings

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Il temporale e l'arcobaleno
Corte Aulica Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I noticed just the other day that while tabulating my prog collection that I own more recent Italian Prog albums than those from the "Golden Years in the 70s" which should not come to be a shock as the quality has not diminished , neither has the quantity. True, there are a lot of one or two shot wonders ever since but the genre still has an obviously huge appeal in Progland . Just ask our finnforest and he will confirm! So it was with a fair amount of excited trepidation that I patiently awaited the arrival of this Notabene offshoot having deeply enjoyed their self-titled debut. Drummer Gus Pasini has put together an instrumental exercise that harkens back to more Canterbury/Camel musical environments and does so with resounding success and reverence. As finnforest has so brilliantly expressed in his review, there is a strong emotional undercurrent that eschews ego-fed technical demonstrations and concentrates rather on conjuring up deep inner most feelings that are hard to resist. Andrea mentioned in his review the gorgeous melodies and he is spot on, as the sweeping beauty expressed by the musicians consistently inspire awe and refreshing idealism. Guitarist Lucca Saccenti refers to the svelte "fret-ernity" of Andy Latimer, Jan Akkerman and Allan Holdsworth , preferring oblique yet romantic figures and emotions, with occasional burst of fiery grandeur. Emmanuele Jaforte is a busy, bustling and beguiling bassist, weaving in, out and around various melodic paths, whilst celestial keyboardist Nicola Gasperi lathers the arrangements with undulating organ tapestries, bubbly synthesizer solos and flamboyant piano outbursts. "Chiaroscuro" reminds one of Mirage period Camel, a lofty honor indeed, with the identical lyrical ebb and flow of the famed desert beast. The bass motif is held throughout in hypnotic sequence and the soloists simply initiate a series of "colorations" that really give credence to the title. The title cut involves the first utter Canterbury Proggisms, with its slanted guitar work, somber piano phrasings and jazzy mid-section where again the bass plays the piper. The cool ivory tickling creates a relaxed almost laid back setting with sudden stop and go rhythms. "Corte Aulica" is a stunning piece of elegant music clearly remindful of the Camel legacy, an soothing instrumental expression of the highest caliber especially with Saccenti gyrating in the midst of various keyboard eddies, all sturdily held together by the back end boys. "Tiziana" is presumably in honor of Gus' female muse (mom, wife or daughter) and kicks off highly buoyant at first while later falling into long sustained volume pedal work a la Akkerman, then slipping into a massive solo flight that conjures the deepest emotions and warmest feelings, certainly a huge highlight here. Amore! "La Principessa del Parco" is a playful romp, as the title may imply, toying with varied mood sets, a slithering synth solo in particular lays some cool fizz to the jovial and insistent guitar theme. The next track deals with a street address, "Via Rua Sovera 19", presumably a home of a certain emotional stature, serves up some fine fluid lines , mostly melancholic piano and swooning axe forays. The brief and highly moody "Zwanenbeek"is a dreamy piano exercise that evokes deep sensations and is very successful as such. The 2 bonus tracks introduce Gus on the microphone and as mentioned by others here, he has no great voice but certainly, the expressions of his sentiments are very personal to him and he must do so deliberately. The playing is uninterruptedly effective, both soloists dishing out some fine examples of artistic idiom. In fact, the final track has even definite shades of il Bacio della Medusa, grave vocals, somber keys, zippingly bluesy guitar slings and a lyrical tempo that exudes charm. The cover art is exquisite, transmitting both the languid melancholia and the intense solitude that escapes from the grooves (another old-fashioned vinyl reference?). This is an album I could play all day without getting bored, inducing no sleep or any controversy and really very palatable to all classes of music fans. The only drawback and very common to Italian releases throughout the decades, its too darn short! Certainly a band to watch, perhaps with an even more polished and LENGTHIER affair down the road. 4 dromedaries.

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 Il temporale e l'arcobaleno by CORTE AULICA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.61 | 14 ratings

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Il temporale e l'arcobaleno
Corte Aulica Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Corte Aulica is an Italian prog band from Brescia that was formed in 2006 on the initiative of drummer, keyboardist and composer Gustavo Pasini (Lithos, Notabene). The line up features Gustavo Pasini (drums, percussion, piano, vocals), Nicola Gasperi (keyboards, backing vocals), Luca Saccenti (guitar) and Emanuele Jaforte (bass) but on the album there's also the collaboration of Anna Paderni on flute credited as a special guest. Corte Aulica's debut album "Il temporale e l'arcobaleno" (The Storm And The Rainbow) was released by Mellow Records in 2007 and contains seven instrumental tracks plus two "bonus tracks" sung by Gustavo Pasini.

The main sources of inspiration here come from the "Canterbury scene" (especially Camel) and the Italian prog scene of the Seventies but the band managed to express their own original ideas without being too derivative... The result is excellent and all along the album you can listen to beautiful melodies soaring from complex rhythm patterns. In my opinion are especially good the title track where the "stormy" guitar work and dreamy and colourful piano passages produce a very interesting contrast and "Corte aulica", complex and melodic in the meantime. Anyway the level of all the tracks is absolutely good and there are no weak moments. The last two tracks are credited as "bonus" ones because they are older compositions by Gustavo Pasini... "The voice whispers looking for a reason / A smile shines new emotions / Without fears you are spellbound / Autumn makes you change your way..."... Gustavo Pasini's vocals on the bonus tracks are very far from flawless, but according to an interview with the musician these songs were "too personal" to be sung by a another person and the choice to sing them in an "imperfect way" was made to keep all their emotional content.

On the whole "Il temporale a l'arcobaleno" is an excellent work and even if the last two tracks are not flawless, they do not waste the final result.

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 Il temporale e l'arcobaleno by CORTE AULICA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.61 | 14 ratings

BUY
Il temporale e l'arcobaleno
Corte Aulica Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Corte Aulica's fine instrumental debut

Corte Aulica formed in early 2006 with the stated mission to create music which reminds of the Canterbury setting of the seventies, Camel, Caravan and Hatfield and the North above all, but at the same time keeping its strong originality both in the composing and in the sound. The majority of the material on Il temporale e l'arcobaleno (The Storm and the Rainbow) was written by Pasini who contributed the fabulous cover art as well. The music of Corte Aulica is pure instrumental bliss of the warm, romantic variety (there are a few vocals but this is almost fully instrumental.) Certainly they remind of Camel as their mission statement alludes and yet the sound is warmer to my ear. While this debut is perhaps not as tight in certain areas as the peak Camel releases there is just as much heart, as much beauty and passion, and there is promise for the future. The Progressor notes Like Camel, the music ranges from detailed and ornate to mellow and melodic, with a fairly good solo work on each of the instruments involved. There is no lack in dynamic interactions between guitar and varied keyboards (piano, organ and synthesizers, few of which are modern-sounding), which are supported by the tight rhythm-section, though the bass quite frequently leaves its post at the bottom end so to burst at the fore as another lead voice. It would be also unfair to set aside the band's own finds despite their relative scantiness. Besides a brief episode with only bass and drums in the arrangement, most of the said pieces contain some fine synthesizer-driven moves reminiscent of symphonic Space Rock. [Vitaly Menshikov]

I would note several things that make the disc enjoyable to me. First, the emotions of the composition musically are quite optimistic and leave you refreshed. Soaring lead guitar that gets high into that pleasure zone is frequently and good-naturedly sparring with the keys and bass, both of whom seem to take great pleasure in coming up with neat, sometimes mischievous quirky parts. Often the mood is on the mellower side and introspective though there are plenty of sections where the band proves they can rock. The music itself is very beautiful, pastoral.but with a pulse! It never just lies pretty and still but rather attempts to weave lovely themes into a more engaging full band sound. Next, Pasini's drum sound is quite interesting, sometimes delicately complex and other times more laid back, with an acoustic presence in the snare that is very organic and live sounding, putting you in the room with the band. No cold soulless digital frost coming from CA, the band feels very authentic to the good aspects of the '70s vinyl sound. Last, in addition to the standard instruments there is a fair amount of piano which always adds to the atmosphere for me, they even end the album with a solo piano piece called Zwanenbeek which is both peaceful and slightly melancholic. The other six main tracks range from 4-6 minutes in length--enough to allow some evolution of ideas without ever overstaying their welcome. They allow plenty of spaciousness in and around the more direct sections for things to coalesce and breathe which is a nice compositional touch. This is a fine debut that despite not being a perfect masterpiece gives me oodles of the feelings I look to music for, it's an album I've grown quite fond of over repeated plays. The CD includes two bonus tracks and notes and photos from each member. Recommended to most anyone who enjoys Camel or fine symphonic instrumental rock with occasional jazzy touches, delivered with pure sincerity, patience, and love for the material. Fans of Neo should also approve. Really the only ones who might take a pass are adrenalin/tech fireworks junkies and those who only enjoy very hard rock/metal or avant-garde. 7/10

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