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CALOMITO

RIO/Avant-Prog • Italy


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Calomito biography
Calomito are a six-piece Italian band who bring a high degree of eclecticism to an overall avant-prog sound, which is made clear even with the instrumentation: in addition to the usual rock accoutrements, one hears a Fender Rhodes, soprano sax, and violins/violas. The influences of RIO greats like Zappa, Henry Cow, and their countrymen Stormy Six are clear, yet they also infuse their music with flavors from the Middle East, and even some klezmer at times, thus bringing a world/folk aspect into an avant-jazz basis - and of course, a bit of humor sprinkled in every now and then.

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Cane Di SchienaCane Di Schiena
AltRock
Audio CD$21.99 (used)

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CALOMITO discography


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

3.61 | 16 ratings
Inaudito
2005
3.81 | 50 ratings
Cane di Schiena
2011

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CALOMITO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Inaudito by CALOMITO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 16 ratings

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Inaudito
Calomito RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars CALOMITO are a six piece band from Italy with the usual instruments then add sax and violin. There is some guest trumpet as well. I was really impressed with their second record and after spending some time with this the debut i'm left with the same feelings. These guys are just interesting and their enthusiasm shines through the music they create. They are all great players but I think I enjoy the drumming the most on this one.

"Collante" kicks in right away with drums, bass and violin standing out. A calm with marching styled drums follows. More bass, drums and violin before another calm. Lots of drums, sax and violin late. Great tune ! "Nautilus" is relaxed to start as the violin comes in before a minute then keyboards. A calm before 2 minutes then horns as drums pound. It picks up after 4 1/2 minutes but not for long. Great sound when it picks up again. Nice bass and drum work here. "Am Ha'aretz" opens with a Middle Eastern sounding piece that i'm not fond of but it's brief. The tempo continues to shift. Love the sound 3 minutes in then we get chanting and percussion a minute later. It kicks back in at 5 1/2 minutes with horns then violin. More chanting and violin to end it.

"Ebetus" features drumming, sax, violin and more. Love the drumming. Some weird sounds come in then it picks back up with horns. "Dal Buffo Buio" has a cool sound with the spoken processed words. Sax kicks in at 11/2 minutes. "Rutz" has some silliness early then it settles in with violin then horns as they trade off. "Nascosto" has a relaxing beat with keys and more. "Kaiser" has a catchy beat with chunky bass, violin and sax.

CALOMITO are an adventerous band who know how to put on a show and entertain. An impressive debut.

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 Inaudito by CALOMITO album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 16 ratings

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Inaudito
Calomito RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Calomito from the Italian port of Genova were formed at the dawn of the new millenium.The band was a sextet featuring Filippo Cantarella on violin/viola, Tommaso Rolando on bass, Matteo Ammirati on guitars, Paolo Piccardo on drums, Federico Barrai on sax/percussion and Kai Kundrat on keys/piano.Theu debut ''Inaudito'' was released on Megaplomp in 2005 and distributed worldwide by Wide Records, featuring guest appearances by Marco Ravera on guitars and Marco Tindiglia on trumpet.

The style of the band is a mix of flexible Jazz-Rock and somewhat dark and complex R.I.O./Chamber Rock with a sound led by bass, electric piano, the violin and viola of Cantarella and Barrai's saxes.A good delivery by this sextet, which know when to play violently and when to add some fresh air to the music.Often the arrangements have a strong folk/ethnic nostalgic feeling coming out of nowhere and being a great positive of their sound.In ''Inaudito'' the massive atonal parts led by the huge sax and violin sounds are nicely replaced by some refreshing Jazz-Rock with fine work on electric piano and a number of fiery interplays.A couple of numbers also flirt with straight Jazz, characterized by the jazzy drumming, Barrai's sax solos and Rolando's contrabass grooves with a nice live feeling.Electric guitars are used scarcely on the good interplays offered here and there.

A quite consistent debut with an attractive sound and a style somewhere between VOLAPUK and AREA, pretty Ethnic-influenced R.I.O./Jazz-Rock with a nice dose of diversity.A great addition for fans of the style,which will also have some appeal to fans of straight Jazz.

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 Cane di Schiena by CALOMITO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 50 ratings

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Cane di Schiena
Calomito RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

5 stars 'Cane Di Schiena' - Calomito (9/10)

Ever since I first started listening to this band by Italian instrumental act Calomito, I frnkly have not been able to get enough of it. Over the past while, I have been hearing recent albums from the year that have attempted to pursue prog rock through an instrumental outlet. This seems like a great idea on paper- after all, who wants pesky vocals in the way of the instruments?- but all too often, the so-called 'virtuosic' musicianship, paired with a focus on instrumental complexity or showmanship typically results in music that manages to be both impressive and dreadfully boring. Calomito juice their soundw ith something that is largely missing from instrumental prog that quite a few bands could do with; a sense of surprise in their music. Throughout 'Cane Di Schiena', Calomito dazzles with a wide variety of different sounds, tones, and niches, yet keeps their expression coherent and purposeful. I would be lying if I said this wasn't one of the best prog albums of the year.

Calomito have been called an avant-prog act, and this might ring true in their music. There is a vibrant sense of 'weirdness' surrounding some of these ideas, and the generally eclectic approach that Calomito takes only serves to fuel this sense of adventure that the band enjoys throughout the music. It also doesn't hurt that their music somewhat reminds me of my favourite avant-garde act, Kayo Dot; at least as far as their modern use of violins and atmospheric guitars are concerned. For anyone who shares a fanhood of Kayo Dot, I suggest checking out the title track of this album. Like most of the great instrumental prog works, there is a very multi-faceted sound going on here, ranging from the brooding expressions of the title track, to downright avant-silliness with 'Fungo', which goes as far as to sample generic cartoon sounds.

Instead of sporting their skills in the open, there is the real sense that Calomito focuses on creating magical moments in unison, rather than trying to let one, o two of the musicians do the work. I was left in a rare case where even after a few listens, I could identify and distinguish the mood of each track from the other. Calomito's use of texture in their music is gorgeous, and emotion pours through every open gap. This is certain an album that hits the emotion with plenty of gorgeous moments, be it an atmospheric build-up, a jazzy hook, or something plain weird and fun- a cowboy jig, perhaps? My mind is perhaps even more impressed by all of this, with the group playing some deceptively complex passages tightly and coherently. I have not said this about a new album in a while, but Calomito's 'Cane Di Schiena' is a masterpiece of prog. Time will tell if this album gets the recognition it deserves.

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 Cane di Schiena by CALOMITO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 50 ratings

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Cane di Schiena
Calomito RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Out on the outskirts of Rock, right near the border with Jazz, there lurks an Italian band who along with others of its ilk, tears down the fences marking the separations between genres and brings with it yet more influences in, forming a new musical landscape. Calomito is the band, a group from Genoa, now signed to the fabulous AltrOck label. This is their second album, their first being Inaudito released in 2005. Though I have that album, I've not heard it in quite a while and recall very little of it.

Now, I could tell you how great this album is. I could tell you about their avant/chamber-rock style, their jazziness, their groove and rhythmic tunes, their mix of oddities and a melodic side. But I fear my points won't come across as clearly as their music does. Thus not doing justice to the band and their album. Shall I go at it nonetheless? Well, I feel obliged to, given how much I enjoy listening to this album.

Calomito's music to me represents a solid balance of adventurous spirit, melody-oriented writing and focus on groove and vibe. Their music plays on the edges of rock and jazz, veers off every once in a while to the avant-garde side of the camp, but doesn't forget to bring along a healthy dose of appeal and accessibility. They seem keen on taking ingredients from various musical camps during the album's 9 pieces: rock, jazz (Bella Lee), post rock (Cane Di Schiena), chamber rock (Fungo, Cane Di Schiena), folk/ethnic (Pappa Ireale, Antenna, Klez). I don't mean each of these pieces are in this styles, but that those styles are incorporated into each song and serve the Calomito style and approach.

There is no flashiness here, no complexity for the sake of it. Instead you'll get a healthy and wealthy dose of well-constructed and accessible tunes and with defined melodies; in some tunes you will perceive a sense of humour and a jovial spirit (Pappa Ireale), while in others a more serious tone (Cane Di Schiena) and in yet others, a melancholic taste (Antenna, Cane Di Schiena).

Another balance is maintained in the dynamics of the album; the compositions differ in pace, some slower and more relaxed than others (compare Antenna and Cane Di Schiena with Bella Lee and Fungo for instance); however, tempo is not all the story here as each piece develops and changes during its course, Antenna being the prime example of such a progress. From a mid-paced and relatively restrained section it slowly changes and gains additional layers and strengths towards its end.

There is much music to absorb here, but unlike other releases in this "style", this album doesn't feel cumbersome and overwhelming to me. It feels "open" and "breathing", i.e., not claustrophobic and dense, though the richness and power of the sound in some of the tunes might convince you otherwise. I've often had a feeling after listening to albums, that the various compositions are hard to differentiate after listening the first few times and it took many listens to be able to penetrate the album's "mists" and be able to recognize each track individually. Remarkably, that was not the case for me here. I felt that each track on the album is well differentiated from the others, well defined and characterized that I was able to remember, by looking at the names of the pieces, what I heard.

I don't know how AltrOck manages to procure these bands of theirs, but most of the time these bands produce top-notch material that make my year-end lists. Calomito is another such band from their roster.

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 Cane di Schiena by CALOMITO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.81 | 50 ratings

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Cane di Schiena
Calomito RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars CALOMITO are a five piece band out of Italy with violin / viola, bass, guitar, drums and trombone filling out the sound.The bass and guitar players add synths on certain tracks and the bass player also adds trumpet on one track.There are some guest sax and vocals as well but this is almost 100 % instrumental. This was recorded in the summer and fall of 2009, mixed in the spring of 2010, and mastered by the one and only Udi Koomran in Isreal in the Winter of 2010. And a big thankyou to Man With Hat (Phil) for bringing this album up in one of the threads on this site.

"Bella Lee" has an aggressive intro then it settles in. I like the angular guitar at one point then it picks up but the tempo will shift often on this one. Great track and a top three. "Parliamone" is mellow to start then the violin comes in after a minute followed by trombone. Some nice bass 2 1/2 minutes in then the guest sax joins in.Violin is back with some intricate drum work.This song keeps changing and evolving. "Infraditi" opens with female soprano vocals then the music kicks in quickly. Violin, trombone and bass standout. Some intensity before 1 1/2 minutes. A calm follows with guitar, bass and drums then the violin joins in and it picks up. I like the sound after 6 minutes with the drums, guitar and synths.

"Fungo" is a good uptempo track and fairly powerful too. It does settle some before 2 minutes into an avant mode. It settles even more then it picks up with violin after 5 minutes. "Cane Di Schiena" is relaxing to start as violin joins in. It settles right down before 3 minutes.Violin is back 4 1/2 minutes in as it gets fuller until it becomes quite powerful. "Pappa Irreale" has a funny rhythm to it that is the focus. "Antenna" is a top three for me. Weird vocals to start with a beat.The vocals stop as the sound builds. It settles back around 2 minutes but the tempo continues to shift. Great sound before 4 1/2 minutes and later at 6 minutes as it builds.

"Klez" has this rhythm that comes and goes that reminds me of RADIOHEAD of all bands. Lots of strings too. Good song. "Max Dembo" is the other top three. A sample of street noise to start then the horns, a beat and more take over. It's laid back as violin joins in. It turns somewhat heavier 2 1/2 minutes in then intense and avant before 4 minutes until 6 1/2 minutes in when suddenly the birds are chirping. It stays pastoral until the end.

These guys seem to be picking up where STORMY SIX left off so many years ago. A solid 4 stars.

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