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SARASTRO BLAKE

Crossover Prog • Italy


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Sarastro Blake biography
Paolo PIGNI learned to play the guitar back in 1974 and took his first lessons from a professional teacher who was involved with the successful Italian band NEW TROLLS. After discovering YES, Paolo moved to bass guitar and began playing in his first band, BLACK OUT. In the mid 80's he began recording demos of his songs and released his first solo album (produced by Tiziano Cantatore), 'LONELY DAYS'. It featured guitarist Riccardo ZAPPA and session men like Mark HARRIS (of FABRIZIO DE ANDRČ, PINO DANIELE and AL JARREAU fame) plus several members of the EROS RAMAZZOTTI'S band. In the early 90's he released a solo album called 'THE BARRETT OF THE DRAKE' where he played all the instruments.

In the 2000's Paolo started playing bass with the CELTIC HARP ORCHESTRA who were mainly a live act, but whilst in the orchestra they recorded and released an album. It was there that Paolo met first and played with Luca BRICCOLA. In early 2008 he was invited to join the band MOGADOR and the following year they released their debut, with their second, 'ALL I AM IS OF MY OWN MAKING', just a year after that.

Paolo started the solo project 'SARASTRO BLAKE' in the autumn of 2011 when he found himself with enough songs for a full-length album. Luca BRICCOLA of MOGADOR became involved as arranger, producer and contributing player. Paolo didn't want to make a traditional solo album, but rather a collaborative project bringing in other musicians around the world, making the most of the song sharing possibilities of the internet. In keeping with the desire not to do conventional solo album, Paolo decided to give himself a ''nome d'arte'' in Sarastro Blake. It sounded nicely vague and not immediately identifiable.

In January 2012 - actually the night the Costa Concordia cruise ship sank in the Mediterranean Sea - he started recording the first tracks on an acoustic guitar, followed by the other instruments. Soon after, he started thinking about the idea of special guest musicians more seriously. For Paolo it was very important to have the right special guest each song. In this way he hoped that each artist would have the right feel for the music and bring something of their own to my songs. In the end he managed to invite a longish list of guests who brought their talents to the tracks, interpreting the songs in their own ways.

Biography provided by the artist and used with permission

Sarastro Blake official website

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New ProgmanticsNew Progmantics
Import
Mentalchemy Records
Audio CD$21.99
$16.77 (used)

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3.91 | 4 ratings
The New Progmantics
2013

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SARASTRO BLAKE Reviews


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 The New Progmantics by SARASTRO BLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 4 ratings

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The New Progmantics
Sarastro Blake Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sarastro Blake is the new band of italian musician Paolo Pigni who formed this band in 2011. Paolo Pigni was already involved in another prog band from Italy named Mogador and already had an album under his name. The new progmatics released in 2013 is a quite great first offer, with lush orchestrations, folk passages and quite intresting lyrics. As the title suggesting, the album is a combination of romantic typical italian flavour music all under prog atmosphere. There are some invited guests well known in prog circles like Nick Magnus on keyboards from Steve Hacket fame, the unmatch Rick Wakeman, Richard Sinclair from Caravan or Camel fame and among others Billy Sherwood , all done afantastic job. The music flows very nice from more uptempo parts to folky landscapes, really expressive keyboards passages, nice guitars and pleasent vocal arrangements. The opening The Lady of Shalott is absolutely kick ass tune, very nice, crescendo type of piece who gives instantly a 70's aura to the music, very nice. Some baroque moments are also present on Sonnet 116. All pieces stands as great, no weak moment here. One of the pleasent and rewarding albums of 2013 for sure. Very nice just in mood with the music is the art work, very nice. All in all this band needs a far more exposure, The new progmatics is filled with quality music that any prog fan can enjoy. For me 4 stars easy.

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