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Quintorigo biography
Coming from Romagna in North Italy, Quintorigo started in 1996 with a lineup composed by Andrea Costa (violin), Gionata Costa(cello), Stefano Ricci (contrabass), Valentino Bianchi (sax) and the incredible voice of John de Leo. Their music is initially an experimental fusion of Classical, Jazz and Rock. They became known to the maintream public by taking part to the Sanremo Festival in 1999 with a song taken from their debut album Rospo. The song is highly unusual for that environment but the critics are very positive. The same year they won the Tenco prize, that's the art side of Sanremo.
In 2005 John de Leo left the band to be replaced by Luisa Cottifogli. Their first project with the new vocalist is based on Charlie Mingus (Quinotorigo play Mingus). In 2008 Luisa has been replaced by Luca Sapio and this is currently (2010) the last change in their lineup.

They have collaborated with some Italian prog artists like Ivano Fossati (Delirium), Franco Battiato and the jazzist Roberto Gatto.
They won two times the prize for the best song arrangement at Sanremo, the first place at Arezzo Wave in 1998 and Quintorigo play Mingus has been chosen by an italian jazz magazine as best album of 2008.

They are active supporters of AMREF (African Medical and REsearch Foundation).

bio prepared by Octopus-4

QUINTORIGO Videos (YouTube and more)

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Around ZappaAround Zappa
Incipit 2015
$21.49 (used)
Opposites [VINYL]Opposites [VINYL]
English GardenEnglish Garden
Edel 2011
$18.59 (used)
Imports 2010
$100.61 (used)
Il CannoneIl Cannone
$119.22 (used)
Bentivoglio AngelinaBentivoglio Angelina
$28.43 (used)
In CattivitaIn Cattivita
Polydor Italy 2003
$24.99 (used)
Universal 2007
$9.99 (used)
Le OriginiLe Origini
Mercury Italy 2008
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QUINTORIGO discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 4 ratings
Dietro Le Quinte
3.83 | 10 ratings
3.96 | 7 ratings
3.77 | 7 ratings
In Cattivita'
2.88 | 6 ratings
Il Cannone
3.79 | 5 ratings
Quintorigo Play Mingus
3.00 | 8 ratings
English Garden
1.00 | 1 ratings
Quintorigo Experience

QUINTORIGO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Nel Vivo

QUINTORIGO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

QUINTORIGO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Le Origini

QUINTORIGO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Kristo si'!
5.00 | 3 ratings
Bentivoglio Angelina(Kon Tutto Il Mio Amore)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 English Garden by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.00 | 8 ratings

English Garden
Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars Between nostalgic antiques and postmodern concern. This is how on their website Quintorigo define this album, the first with all the lyrics written in English. We are far from the experimental research of the beginnings and it's immediately clear from the "glam" opener and title track, followed by a beatlesque "The Fault Line".

The musicianship is great as always and the acoustic chamber instrumentation don't betray the nature of the band. Who loves this band will get pleasure even from this "rock oriented" album. I don't say pop. It's easy rock, sometimes radio friendly and lacks the inventive of albums like Rospo.

Listening to "Teardrops" it's hard to think that this is not a British band of the early 70s. It fades out but the following song "How Does It Feel" stars more or less with the same chords. The difference is made by the excellent vocals of Juliette Lewis. This song is closer to the old Quintorigo and surely the album's highlight.

"The Place They Claimed" leaves the easy environment for more interesting sequences of chords and signatures. This is the Quintorigo that I like and the things go better with "Somewhere Else", an avant-rock song which alternates heavy and mellow vocals on a jazz base.

"Shepherd of The Sheep" Is a heavy Rock and Roll song. Who is used with Quintorigo won't be surprised. Who is not will have the possibility to hear how hard rock can be played with strings and a sax. Quite a return to the cover of Deep Purple's Highway Stars.

I think that "Candyman" is a cover. It's a blues that I think I have already heard. An excellent song anyway. Juliette Lewis is back on "Lies!" a song in perfect Quintorigo style with hard rock accents fused with chamber music.

"Hang Man Blues" is opened by double bass and mute choir. It may be a standard, I don't know. There is a number of "hangman's blues" around and I don't know all of them. This one is a classic blues, very "black" in the vocals with the bass making the big part. It's long time that I don't listen to blues and this song renews my love for that music each time...

The album is closed by a jazzy track with a touch of Canterbury. "Burning Doubts" may be a Caravan song, at least for the vocals. Here Luca Sapio demonstrates to be able to change his vocal how he likes. It's a dreamy song, the best possible as closer.

It's unusual that the easiest tracks are all grouped at the beginning, but the transition to the most interesting songs is so smooth that it's difficult to catch at the first listens. I took many time to enter in this album that it's an excellent entry point for who is not familiar with the genre. Three solid stars...4 if it was for the second half of the album only.

 Quintorigo Play Mingus by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 5 ratings

Quintorigo Play Mingus
Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Covers have always been an important part of Quintorigo works. The way the band is able to make arrangements of things which go from rock standards to jazz using classical instrumentation is one of the band's best characteristics.

Of course the vocal element that's one of their most interesting aspects, starting from the former frontman John de Leo to the current Luisa Cottifogli, has less relevance on this almost instrumental album, as Luisa Cottifogli can show her talent on five tracks only.

What about the music? Nothing to say about the compositions and the choice of the tracks that represent quite all the aspects of the work of Charlie Mingus during the years. I have found very impressive the use of the accordion on "Pithecanthropus Erectus" which opens the album. Antonello Salis adds a touch of "tango" to one of the most famous Mingus works.

Sometimes the arrangements are not very challenging, specially on the tracks with vocals that sound "usually jazz". Of course this is not a bad thing. "Usually jazz" is referred to Mingus in any case.

Excellent, in a word.

EDIT: I have relistened to this album after three months. I haven't realized previously that what seemed a trumpet on "Goodbye Porky-Pie Hat" is just the incredible voice of Luisa Cottifogli. Try to believe!

 Il Cannone by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.88 | 6 ratings

Il Cannone
Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

3 stars The first allbum without John De Leo, replaced by Luisa Cottifogli, an equally excellent singer, female this time, is opened by a Joke: the strings tuning on a "A" chord whose frequence is 440Hz. And this is the title of the first 48 seconds.

"Il Cannone" (The Cannon) is a song about a weapons trafficker who at a certain point says "Who could have thought that they would have pointed my cannon right in front of me..." The instruments are the usual strings trio plus sax, and this sort of grotesque jazz-blues is very fun. Unfortunately, even showing a great vocal extension, Luisa sings too similarily to John De Leo. Of course is possible that this song was ready before he left, but she's not yet showing her personality.

"Franchestein", an ironic wrong transcription of the famous Shelley's monster starts to show the difference. The orchestral part is still totally in line with the past works, as well as the lyrics, but now Luisa sings differently. she is no longer a mimic of De Leo even if I find her voice quite similar to the singer of another Italian band called "Acustimantico" (but Luisa can reach very low pitches, too). She is able to reach a very high pitch without using the falsetto, like Annie Haslam in the the final of Carnegie Hall version of Sheherazade.

"L'attesa" (The Waiting) has a jazzy flavor that, if it wasn't for the instruments used, could remind to the Matt Bianco.

"Soon I Will Be Done" is a vocal only spiritual, just to give Luisa the possibility to introduce herself to the fans. It's a more than excellent vocal performance, but with nothing of progressive.

Every Quinotrigo album contains at least one very eclectic cover. Arranging Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" for contrabass, violin and cello makes it baroque. Personally I prefer it to the original. After a short sax solo it becomes reggae with the rhythmic part played by pizzicato strings and Luisa improvising. In the coda the band sings a choir in a South- african style. A great cover.

"Lacrime" (Tears) is a more usual Quintorigo song, just a little more melodic than usual. It starts like a pop song, but in the chorus with English lyrics they are back to their avant roots. (or avant to their back roots, maybe)

Jokes apart, "Alligator Man" is opened by the contrabass which plays a blues riff. Speaking of alligators means sounding a bit New Orleans. It's a very black acoustic blues with a strong cajun flavor.

"Nel Clone del Padre" (In the "clone" of the Father) is finally a track of the kind that made Quintorigo accepted into RIO/Avant. I have to say that even being more "easy" and approachable than any of the previous albums it can't be considered commercial in any way. This is one of the very rare songs on which drums (drones), bass and guitar can be heard. One mention from the lyrics: "Maybe one day I'll kill you. You're too human to live".

Back with the usual instrumentation with a jazz classic: "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat". Simply excellent.

"Sole Invisibile" (Invisible Sun) is an eclectic cover of the famous Police's song with Italian lyrics. Excellent arrangement even though not as amazing as other covers like "Highway Stars" appeared on previous albums. They are a quintet and Police were a trio so they have more instruments to use.

The last two minutes are occupied by percussion and vocals singing in a language that may be Persian. "Ranni Li" is the song title. Quite hypnotic.

This is one of the most pop-oriented albums released by Quintorigo. This is the bad thing, more than the absence of John De Leo whose replacement is at almost the same level even though very different. The good is that they are very skilled musicians and their strength is in the arrangements, so this album is very good.

I think that it fits well in the 3 stars definition

 In Cattivita' by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.77 | 7 ratings

In Cattivita'
Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars "Illune (Ninna Nanna)" opens the album. Violin and the most bass pitches of John De Leo. Nice that "ninna nanna" means lullaby. I can't imagine a baby trying to sleep with that bass voice ordering "Dormi!" (Sleep!). Effectively the tempo could fit in a lullaby, and apart of the start it's also melodic enough. There's much classic contemporary music in this song.

The violin played as a guitar sounds similar to a banjo or an Ukulele. "Neon-Sun" is uptime and the theme is very captivating. When De Leo goes on his high pitches and the band plays unison it's like there are keyboards. De Leo is effectively an additional instrument capable of being melodic or percussive when needed.

"Clap Hands" is one of the strangest tracks of the album. De Leo sings from his nose (and maybe into some weird kind of microphone) while the band plays a sort of percussions by hitting the instruments and their strings. What comes out is a sort of "anesthetic/hypnotic rock-blues". At the end John De Leo screams like an "emo". It's incredible how a string trio plus a sax can be noisy.

"Bogliasco" Is a Small town close to Genoa. This short instrumental track is a fantastic piece of classical music in the vein of Mahler. That's why "U.S.A. e Getta" appears even more challenging than it is really. Imagine the band of a circus that in the chorus reminds to Sgt. Pepper. The lyrics are about big companies and employees. People who struggles for the company and the career but can be sent out. This is not about injustice. It's about unawareness. "Target, Budget, Responsibilities....". The joke in the track title is that "usa e getta" is referred to single-use only devices like a razor. U.S.A. because it's seen as the land where the modern capitalism is born. From a musical perspective it's a great track.

The title of the following track seems Russian but it's not. Just 50 seconds of classical inspried music.

On a jazzy theme De Leo says "I forget. I know but I forget. I don't remember" this is the meaning of "Dimentico". This song makes me think to something like a small theatre in New York. I don't know why. I've never been in NY anyway.

"Night and Day" is the famous standard. Of course John doesn't sing like Ella Fitzgerald, but it's a very interesting cover. When Quintorigo make covers they are always very interesting as the have to arrange the songs for their particular lineup and are used to add something personal.

"What's the weather like today? / on nous donne deux heures de soleil / What is the weather like today? / on nous donne deux heures de soleil " Another challenging and chaotic track. A thing in which this band is excellent. Vocal effects and melodic parts coming and going suddenly.

The following three tracks are a single masterpiece. It's a novel, crazy and meaningful at the same time. Find the lyrics and get a translation if you really want to enjoy them. It's more a piece of theatre than a song (or three songs). A non-existing inhabitant of a condominium. Nobody has ever seen him. He pays the bills like he's an existing person, but he doesn't exist....."There's no-one inside that flat, everybody knows him...". The music is hypnotic. Very good. I think one can like it even without following the lyrics, but with the lyrics is a sort of multi-levels experience.

"Darn That Dream" is another standard which was sung by Billie Holiday, doris Day, and there's also a good cover by the Ahmad Jamal Trio. Simply Jazz.

Finally a reprise of the first track. Longer, with more melodic parts it sounds more like a jazz standard.

This is an album which requires attention but songs like this last one could also be radio- friendly and listening to Quintorigo on a commercial radio in Italy is possible. Not often but possible. And this is strange because there's nothing commercial in their music.

Probably it's just too good to be ignored once you know it.

 Grigio by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.96 | 7 ratings

Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars Frederick's grandma was used to bring him to the sea....this is the translation of the long title of the first track. What's unusual is a reggae rhythm played with absolutely no percussions. Quintorigo were a quintet made of contrabass, cello, violin, sax and the exceptional voice of the actual singer John De Leo. This song was presented at the "Sanremo Festival" in 2000 if I remember correctly, obtaining a good success from the critics. This was the most commercial, if we can call commercial any thing made by Quintorigo.

"Grigio", the title track is a jazzy song, parodistic, on which John De Leo gives an idea of what he can do with his voice. The lyrics are weird: "Irony doesn't miss a glance on us. It's like a summer rain that washes us while we are in the sea"...this is more or less what the chorus says. This song has a lot of swing.

Songs like "Malatosano" and "Causa Vitale" are very "avant" and hard to be described. Very artsy.

"Precipitango" is a joke between "precipitando"(falling down) and "tango". Effectively is a tango with a good trumpet solo. A mix of Astor Piazzolla and Miles Davis.

"Egonomia" is another joke between "ego" and "economy". The sound is heavy and the rhythm is compulsive. A great track with lyrics as strong as the music.

I don't know who plays the grand piano on "Intro-Opening Credits". Probably each of the band's members is able to play it. The composition has a classical mood. After two minutes and half the piano is replaced by violin and cello. It's very athmospheric and quite dark. This part reminds to authors like Mahler or Albinoni.

"Nola Vocals" should be a cover of Bill Lee, the author of Crudella De Vil. I don't know the original version but this song doesn't have anything to do with Dalmatians or other kinds of dog. It's a jazzy song with its roots between 40s and 50s. What is very prog is the arrangement.

"Zahra" opens with "Doos" and "ba-Ba-Hoos" overdubbed. John De Leo sings like Bobby McFerrin, even if I can't be sure that it's the band that sings instead of De Leo overdubbed. Impressive.

"Highway Star" is exactly what it seems. It's a cover of the famous DEEP PURPLE's song. The sax opens it, then the contrabass gives the rhythm, the sax takes over the part that was of Blackmore and John De Leo makes one of his greatest performances. Look for their live performances on youtube. Its incredible how they can play hard rock with those instruments.

Finally, "Bentivoglio Angelina" is another song presented at Sanremo. It's an eclectic song. Undefineable into a genre. GONG, GENTLE GIANT, ZAPPA are names that pop-up to my mind.

I have the temptation to rate it with the fifth star. I round it down to four but it's very close to be a masterpiece.

 Rospo by QUINTORIGO album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.83 | 10 ratings

Quintorigo RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams

4 stars John di Leo is capable of vocalisms that only Demetrio Stratos has been able to make before. His voice is the first thing that hits the ears of the listener. What's really amazing is how a funky-jazz song like "Kristo Si!" can be executed by that kind of instruments: violin, cello, contrabass and sax. It's a jazzy track on a typical blues sequence of chords that literally swings. And everything without any drum or percussion. The lyrics are sarcastic about Catholics and the ingenuity of people who believes in crying statues of Mary (an episode happened one year before the release).

"Rospo" (Frog), the title track has crazy lyrics, a percussive rhythm. Di Leo shows all his vocal extension. The track is about the tale of the prince muted into a frog. Of course seen from an unusual point of view: "Show me your heart..I want to be back a frog, TV hypocrisy, don't stop me now. You can't touch me inside".

"Nero Vivo" is another very rhythmated track, with jazzy accents. It slows down in the chorus to restart just after. There's a good sax solo, too.

"Zapping" a minimalistic track. It makes me think to Magma, but this is just a personal opinion. The crying violin can remind also to classic contemporary music. There's a short folky interlude, like a joke that's likely what justifies the track title.

"Sogni o Bisogni" (dreams or needs. There's a joke on the word "bisogni" that could be interpreted as "bi-sogni": double dreams) is back to the unusual rock that permits to easily identify this band. There are clues of Zappa that I think is one of the artists who have influenced the band.

"Tradimento" (Betrayal) Is opened by a contrabass harping. When it's joined by the other instruments it becomes the most progressive track of the album. The track is closed by vocalisms in the vein of Demetrio Stratos. It appears clearly that John must have studied these singing techniques. Those wishing to check can try Area or better, Demetrio Stratos' solo works.

"Deux Heures De Soleil" (ten hour of sun(shine)) is another very artsy song, hard to describe because of the many different changes. It crosses several genres and personally I find it psychedelic, too.

"Momento Morto" (Dead Moment - it's a way to name a short period of stagnation) is a rock moment on which John di Leo shows the possibilities of his bass pitch. His vocal extension is very wide. The time signature changes several times, in general 4/4 to 3/4 and back.

"Heroes" is an incredible version of the David Bowie's classic. The strings play like a keyboard and John sings leaving his vocalisms off but without trying to sound like the white Duke. Really a 5 stars moment. Making covers is one of Quintorigo's characteristics. They are great in the arrangements. During the years they have arranged, other than this, Deep Purple, Kraftwerk, Hendrix other than a full album of Charlie Mingus covers.

"We Want Bianchi" is the only track on which we can hear percussions (not drums). It's a Samba track. John sings just sounds that add rhythm to the percussion, then suddenly the song turns into swing and it's very close to the big bands. Tommy Dorsey would have liked it.

The album is closed by an alternative version od "Kristo Si!" taken from their first single. We can hear percussions (electronic). This version is bluesy and has something that reminds to Richard Wright's "Cuts Like a Diamond". In the and it's a slow blues based on minor chords, so I'm sure we can find a lot of other references. However this is maybe better than the "regular" version.

EDIT: There are no percussions. It's John's voice looped. Thanks to ZeroTheHero for the amazing information.

A bit more than 4 stars.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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