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THE ODEJA

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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The Odeja biography
THE ODEJA formed in 1986, with a jazz-based lineup originally featuring two guitars, two keyboards and two saxes. By 1987, they were down to one guitar and one sax, but still had the two keyboards. This shift in their lineup initiated what they termed their journey, which is the translation from the Greek title of the band, Odeja.

The lineup that recorded their only album, 1987's Winds of May, consisted of Salvatore Scrudato and Claudio Zappullo on keyboards, Gianni Rovere on bass, Alberto Dragonetti on alto sax, Mauro Pichezzi on drums, and Luisa Marigliani singing. It seems that the band split mid-session, leaving only four tracks close enough to finished to be able to release. The amazing sleuths at Mellow saved this one from obscurity.

[Todd]

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3.00 | 2 ratings
Winds of May
1987

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THE ODEJA Reviews


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 Winds of May by ODEJA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Winds of May
The Odeja Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A nice (and short!) rarity

The Odeja appeared at low point in the RPI timeline and embraced obscurity further by not finishing their lone album. As Todd points out in his bio this Roman band was suffering line-up changes and musical direction shift while recording their lone album. With only four tracks in complete form the sessions fell apart and Mellow Records released "Winds of May" anyway. It certainly deserves to be heard and noted at PA, and is quite enjoyable though it is not typical RPI. We chose to include them because of their Mellow association and because they would fit no where else, lost between RPI, jazz-rock, neo-prog, and with some light avant-garde touches.

Luisa Marigliani provides delicate female vocals in English recalling Prowlers vocalist Laura Mombrini quite closely. The music is different though. Odeja comes across first and foremost as jazz-rock with the influence of the late 80s neo-prog. The instrumental choices are somewhat traditional though, led by acoustic piano and saxophone, and backed by a fluid, energetic bass line. "Secret Feeling" sports a particularly impressive sax solo. This is followed by a long and equally fiesty guitar solo before Luisa comes back with a traditionally jazzy delivery. The title track is my favorite with more symphonic overtones, lovely piano and a classical emotional vibe to the progression. Soft synths behind the piano. In "Till the Dawn" the synths are burdened by a dated, rather cheap sound that brings things down a notch. "The Moon is Down" is much better with an eclectic, experimental feel that shows the potential the group had. It opens with a swirl of ascending piano notes against Jaco style bass frittering, cymbal showers, distant saxophone, and echoed mysterious vocals. The playing quality can be a bit Jekyll and Hyde, with some sections being very impressive and other sections feeling a bit hurried or off. Presumably this is due to the lack of band cohesion and abandonment of the project mid way through.

"The Odeja is a group that will not resemble most of the progressive Italian groups (in fact, the cover of the album has nothing to do with the context of music as it is a medieval environment), rather we hear a mix of Jazz-Fusion which highlights Sax and the use of keyboards, mainly the synthesizer and mellotron though in a discrete form, with an excellent singer clearly influenced by Holiday well as the jazz singer Carmen McRae. In their only album, the sextet leaned to soft forms with discrete jazz inclination, resembling Spyro Gyra, Sadao Watanabe and others." -Sinfomusic blog, 2011

"Winds of May" is an album for Mellow Italian-prog collectors and obscure 80s prog fans, the album cover art is typical of many from the era. If you enjoy jazz/neo/symph mixtures with a strong saxophone presence, this 24-minute rarity will tickle your fancy. A bit south of 3 stars but close enough to grab it.

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 Winds of May by ODEJA, THE album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.00 | 2 ratings

BUY
Winds of May
The Odeja Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Todd
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano!

3 stars Another Mellow obscurity!

Winds of May is the only artifact left half-finished by The Odeja in 1987. Apparently the band had achieved some level of notoriety on the club circuit back in 1986-87. At the time they featured two guitarists, two keyboardists, and two sax players, and their sound was fairly jazz-oriented. They soon lost a guitarist and a sax player, but the remaining members consolidated and made plans to record. They had several songs ready to record, but after laying down four tracks, internal dissensions caused the band to dissolve. Thus all we have to remember them are the four unfinished tracks that were subsequently rescued by Mauro Moroni and the Mellow gang.

As far as the music goes, there are several samples, both in the website link and on the band videos. I would describe them as a keyboard based, jazz-tinged product of the 1987 state of prog, with some nice melodies and chord progressions. The sax adds a lot of color, as do the twin keyboard attack. Luisa's voice is pleasant enough--I just wish she had sung in Italian!

So as we continue to mine the depths of the Mellow catalogue, this is a nice find to be sure. 3- stars (8/15).

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Thanks to todd for the artist addition.

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