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ROBERTO COLOMBO

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Roberto Colombo biography
Born on April 29, 1951, Roberto Colombo is a keyboard player, artistic producer and arranger and has worked with bands such as Le Orme, PFM, Finisterre and many other prominent Italian musicians.

He's often considered one of the underrated gems in Italy. His solo albums from the 70's have a lot of Frank Zappa influences. In 1976 his first solo album, "Sfogatevi Bestie," was relesead. This album includes collaborations from notable musicians such as Walter Calloni (PFM), Ricky Belloni (Nuova Idea, New Trolls), Paulo Donnarumma (together with Eugenio Finardi former member of Pacco, and even today an esteemed session man), and Claudio Fasoli (Perigeo). It´s a good quality piece of work, well received by the press and still regarded as one of the most wanted items by numerous record collectors. This is a great example of vital experimental progressive jazzrock, with hints of Spiral Staircase by Supersister. A flawlessly produced album, way ahead of its time.

1977 saw the release of "Botte da Orbi." This work verges on progressive and jazz-rock, but is marked by light-hearted ironic tones. He gathers together an all-star band of more than thirty musicians, featuring essentially the cream of the Italian music scene: from Mauro Pagani (PFM) to Walter Calloni (PFM), Ronnie Jackson to Lucio Violin Fabbri (PFM), Stefano Cerri (considered one of the best bass player of those days) to Tullio De Piscopo (another legendary drummer who have been playing with New Trolls on Tempi Dispari), and Ivan Cattaneo (a songwriter who was backed on one album by PFM). It´s a dynamic and clever intuitive record with rock solid technique. 1980's "Astrolimpix" is a record attributed to Roberto Colombo and Mark Harris, of less interest to prog fans, being more commercial. He has recently in 2008 recorded an album with his wife Antonella Ruggero entitled "Pomodoro Genetico," a techno pop album also of very little interest of prog fans.


Aside from his solo albums, Colombo has had played with many progressive artists. He played keyboards on PFM's album "Passpartú," on Battiato's "L'Era del Cinghiale Bianco," and on Mauro Pagani's first album. He participated on a long tour with PFM as backing band to Fabrizio De André, from which came the first and most famous live record of the late singer songwriter.

As a producer, he has worked with artists of the likes from Le Orme, to Miguel Bosé, et. al., and has also produced some albums for Italian b...
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ROBERTO COLOMBO discography


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

3.58 | 10 ratings
Sfogatevi Bestie
1976
3.12 | 6 ratings
Botte da Orbi
1977

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ROBERTO COLOMBO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Botte da Orbi by COLOMBO, ROBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.12 | 6 ratings

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Botte da Orbi
Roberto Colombo Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Roberto's second album continues with that "lights out" instrumental work from the debut but he has a lot more guests helping out this time. The style has changed as well as we get very little of that JRF flavour and much more of an orchestral / classical vibe. So yeah i'm not enjoying this one nearly as much.

"Botte Da Orbi" is all over the place as they stop and go on a dime. At times this is orchestral, at times jazzy. Operatic vocals before 3 minutes. "Ascolta Si Fa Sera" has some killer drumming and strange vocals. "Fiato Ale Trombo" has horns, drums and bass that seem to blast in and out. Vocals before 3 minutes but not for long. "Dai Non Fare Il Romantico" is led by keyboards and flute early then it picks up after 2 minutes and you can hear a conversation in the background. It settles back 3 1/2 minutes in.

"Alegher Alegher" opens with a child's laughter then this intricate yet powerful sound takes over. Orchestral is the word. Violin leads then back to the orchestral sounds. Sax leads after 4 minutes. "Danza Disumana" has deep vocals and drums. Flute then sax before 1 1/2 minutes. Strange vocal expressions 3 minutes in. "Il Ritorno Di U Kembe" opens with vocal melodies then the music kicks in. Sax before 2 minutes with prominant drums. Some nice bass then back to the horns. "Fine Del Trentatre" is the short concluding track that has flute and orchestral sounds to start then the vocals join in. The vocals stop and it gets fuller.

I just didn't really enjoy this one which is surprising considering how much i liked his debut.

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 Sfogatevi Bestie by COLOMBO, ROBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 10 ratings

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Sfogatevi Bestie
Roberto Colombo Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What an impressive release this one is. I wasn't prepared to hear JRF or such great sound quality but this has both in spades. And the musicianship blew me away. Lots of guests helping Roberto out including three from NUOVA IDEA along with PERIGEO's sax player. The music is anything but straight-up JRF either as we get an adventerous almost avant flavour here at times. I did think of Zappa a couple of times as well. An amazing release really. This was Roberto's first studio album released in 1976 and my favourite of the two he has honoured us with.

"Sono Pronto" opens with some very upfront drumming that brings to mind ARTI + MESTIERI right away then the bass, violin and more start to come and go. Piano then leads. "Caccia Alla Volpe" has more outbursts of sound that come and go before a rhythm settles in. The keyboards become prominant and are amazing. Violin after 3 1/2 minutes. Operatic vocals follow as the music calms right down. Drums are back before 6 minutes and the sax follows. A calm after 9 minutes then it kicks back in before 10 minutes. Fantastic track ! "Entreneuse" is nice and heavy with sax reminding me of "Islands" era KING CRIMSON. It settles back then the sax returns before 4 1/2 minutes with drums. It picks up a minute later. My favourite track so far.

"Sfogatevi Bestie" features piano and bass as the drums join in and more. Guitar comes to the fore too. Killer stuff. "Assurdo Pt. 1" has laid back piano which is joined by relaxed sax. "Metronomo" opens with vibes then percussion and experimental sounds take over. A catchy beat 2 minutes in. Some crazy keyboards follow then sax before 5 minutes. It's experimental again a minute later. "Assurdo Pt. 2" opens with soft vocals and keyboards. It kicks in to a fuller sound before 1 1/2 minutes then settles back with sax before 3 minutes. This reminds me of WIGWAM. It kicks back in again quickly.

An album that fans of PERIGEO and JRF would be wise to check out. A very entertaining release.

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 Sfogatevi Bestie by COLOMBO, ROBERTO album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.58 | 10 ratings

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Sfogatevi Bestie
Roberto Colombo Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars A keyboardist from Milan, who begun his career in mid-70's at the age of 25.Colombo was signed by Ricky Gianco's obscure Ultima Spaggia label, on which he released his debut ''Sfogatevi Bestie'' in 1975.The album features a huge line-up of 12 musicians, among them some very well-known figures such as Nuova Idea's Ricky Belloni on guitars along with his brother Gigi on bass, Pepe Gagliardi on pianoforte, guitarist Maurizio Martelli from Gramigna, Perigeo's Claudio Fasoli on sax and drummer Flaviano Cuffari (formerly with Nuova Idea as well).

The album contains elements from Jazz Rock, Progressive Rock and Fusion with complex themes and an alternation between improvised and structural parts.It opens with the short ARTI E MESTIERI-inspired ''Sono Pronto'', where piano, violin and deep bass hold the interest in a nice and frenetic jazzy opener.The longest track though ''Caccia Alla Volpe'' is the perfect example of Colombo's approach.Manic grooves blended with experimental improvised bits and nice interplays, performed on piano, drums, xylophones and saxes.On ''Entereneuse'' there is a light FRANK ZAPPA influence with some humourous wordless vocals but also some fine musicianship with Colombo's keyboard work on the forefront along with a trumpet section and Fasoli's saxes.The eponymous track is pleasant guitar-based Jazz/Fusion with a fiery rhythm and some good soloing, while ''Metronomo 138'' is sort of Experimental Jazz Rock with obscure persussion parts, effects and piano, rather too long and too improvised.''Assurdo P.II'' will close this release featuring the vocal work of Marco Ferradini but the instrumental sections are the winner on this with some very well work on saxes, guitars and keyboards, always in a Rock/Fusion style.

Good energetic Jazz/Prog/Fusion with a light experimental edge, headed by its dynamic sounds and decent interplays.A must-have for fans of the style or anyone deep into the aforementioned bands/artists.Recommended.

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