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ARMANDO TIRELLI

Symphonic Prog • Uruguay


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Armando Tirelli biography
Armando Tirelli was the keyboardist and primary composer for the Uruguayan soft-rock/jazz group SEXTETO ELECTRONICO MODERNO beginning in the late sixties. That band released four studio albums before emigrating to Mexico under the name ËXODO in the mid-seventies. Tirelli moved on to release his lone solo album "El Profeta", a symphonic and spoken-word thematic effort based on the poetic novel 'The Prophet' by Lebanese writer and sixties counter-culture icon KHALIL GIBRAN.

While Tirelli's previous work with SEXTETO ELECTRONICO MODERNO was characterized by jazz and classical influences, as well as more traditional Latin inflections of bossanova and salsa, "El Profeta" is a highly symphonic concept album that is heavily akin to the most poignant Italian symphonic music (PFM, LE ORME). Tirelli includes a number of spoken-word passages in Spanish, presumably in reference to Gibran's novel.

The tracks are arranged to coincide more or less sequentially with the novel, with some individual tracks even representing specific poems in the work. The instrumentation is all centered around Tirelli's piano, and to a lesser extent synthesizers, plus some fuzz guitar that gives a real spark to many passages. The original vinyl is nearly impossible to find today, but there are re-issued CD versions available in the Americas and Europe.

Tirelli enjoyed a long stint as a composer, arranger, and performer in Spain after releasing this album, and after leaving Uruguay himself.

Armando Tirelli deserves to be included in the progressive archives for his single but impressive effort at a symphonic release, and for the distinction of being one of the very few Uruguayan symphonic artists of his day.

Bob Moore (ClemofNazareth)

Note: Photo of the "Sexteto Electronico Moderno with Armando Tirelli"

Armando Tirelli official website

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El ProfetaEl Profeta
Lion Productions 2014
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4.09 | 27 ratings
El Profeta
1978

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ARMANDO TIRELLI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 El Profeta by TIRELLI, ARMANDO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 27 ratings

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El Profeta
Armando Tirelli Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

5 stars In my 44 years I hardly heard the words Uruguay and Prog together, this small country is famous for other activities, but except for "Psiglo" (Neo Prog), there are very few well known bands, but this is unfair, because Armando Tirelli's "El Profeta" (Based in the homonymous novel by Khalil Gilbran) is simply outstanding.

The clear Italian Symphonic influence, well blended with Uruguayan Folk and a touch of Fusion is delightful, a one in a kind work that I have followed for years and only lately could buy (in LP format) from a friend who never liked it and only listened the album one time in his life, US$ 10.00 well expended.

"El Profeta" is opened with "Prólogo El Profeta", a song that starts with a poetic and clear narration in the vein of the Gauchos, who remind me a lot of the famous folklorist Cafrune, but then comes the great part, a soft piano and flute lead to an instrumental passage of singular beauty, somehow reminiscent of Focus with a touch of Fusion, and the correct vocals at the end are the cherry over the cake, also pristine clear in the style of "Sui Generis" or "Seru Giran", from the start the listener knows that he's before something special.

"Candombe Samba" flows directly from the prologue as an integral part of it, the melody keeps getting more and more beautiful and elaborate, like few bands, the crew play for the music rather than for personal gain, the piano break is just out of this world, with clear echoes of the two Folk genres (Candombe y Samba) mentioned in the name. The closing section is much more aggressive with a killer guitar

"Barco de los Sueños" (Boat of the Dreams) starts in an abrupt way, the vocals (characteristic of Argentinean bands) blended with the piano and soft choirs hit us directly, but in a soft and melodic mood, the song flows gently without changes until the end, leading to the central theme named as any bilingual person would guess "Tema Central El Profeta", another melodic and nostalgic track of great beauty, but in this case not without some changes mostly leaded by the piano and Synth, the guy is a genius keeping the atmosphere intact and linking every track perfectly.

"El Momento de Partir" (Time for Departure)is another melodic track in the vein of Seru Giram, but with magnificent Moog sections and flute, really a unique product for the region.

"Amanecer en Orphalese" (Dawn in Orphalese) marks a radical change, without loosing the nostalgic atmosphere, Tirelli and his piano hit us with all he has, classical influence mixed with great Prog and radical changes, a perfect jewel in the album.

"Háblanos del Matrimonio" (Talk us about the marriage). is am obscure and more mysterious track based mostly in piano, but despite this darkness, Tirelli manages to create a brighter side with his Moog.

"Hablanos del Dar" (Talk us about the giving) is softer and again extremely melodical, totally sung in Spanish, again flows softly from start to end, except for a few lush keyboard sections, don't expect too many changes, but, Prog is more than just changes.

"Hablanos del Amor" (Talk us about Love) is some form of Latin Jazz that lightens the mood that was getting a bit somber, the Latin American roots of the author are evident in this good song, but about the middle, a radical change bring us back to the style of the previous track.

"Los Ecos de Almustafá" (Almustafa's Echoes) is an excellent instrumental in which the human voice is used as an additional instrument, again the Latin Jazz can be heard, but made much more complex and elaborate, the flute played by G. Bregstein is impressive and the rhythm section is perfectly accurate, as always, everything is in it's place, nothing is unnecessary or superfluous, not even the keyboard passage with some reminiscences of Wendy Carlos.

"Háblanos de los Hijos" (Talk us about the Sons) starts with a repetitive rock section with the clear narration, but after the voice ceases, we ae before the harder track that reminds me of "Grand Funk Railroad" with a wild guitar by Rody Troccli, well supported by the excellent drumming, great change.

The album ends with "Tocata Scarahuala" a classically influenced piano short track with something of Keith Emerson and a reprise of the Central Theme to close the album in a pompous way for the first time.

It's unnecessary to say how much "El Profeta" has impressed me but I must also accept that albums as "Foxtrot" or "Close to the Edge" are in a higher level,

Despite this reality, is also truth that Armando Tirelli is not far from them, with the extra bonus that his absolutely unique sound and dexterity to blend styles make from this release a complete masterpiece, so I will go with 5 stars.

Those who love Italian Symphonic and Folk, will be really pleased with this excellent album and get it without doubt.

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 El Profeta by TIRELLI, ARMANDO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 27 ratings

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El Profeta
Armando Tirelli Symphonic Prog

Review by debrewguy
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Continuing my series of dismissive reviews (I'm saving up my glowing ones for Morse Code, Pendragon, and Present), I come across this milestone in South American Prog. TO my ears, this is yet another one where your opinion will depend on the degree of unswerving love for the genre.

I love Symphonic Prog, I am part of the PA team for this genre, but I find that sometimes some gems of our beloved prog type are no better than average.

El Profeta is one of them. I can readily admit that the music is beautiful, or at should I say, the soundscape is beautiful. As previous reviews state, the piano / keyboard playing is very melodic. Romantic even, as Steve Hegede mentions. But even after multiple listens, I still have no songs that I walk away humming, that insists on sticking themselves in my ears and not going away.

As I went back to the album time & time again, Hablanos del Matrimonio & Hablanos del Dar do stand out, as I almost get the feeling that I'm about to hear some Pink Floyd derived tuneage. But it goes back to the album's own stylings.

There are some heavier moments where the guitar is brought in, and there are occasions where one can hear the pop stylings of Latin America.

But nowhere do I hear the masterpiece, the captivating composition that would elevate this release above the average. Hublanos De Los Hijos is an example, the spoken word parts are interesting, but the music is nothing more than latin jazz inflected rocker with some instrumental flourishes and not much else.

If you are interested or curious, I would strongly recommend trying to find a site that has MP3 samples before you buy ...

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 El Profeta by TIRELLI, ARMANDO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 27 ratings

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El Profeta
Armando Tirelli Symphonic Prog

Review by terr83

5 stars I associate South american progressive rock with Argentinian prog groups primarily. However, in my opinion, El Profeta is the best South american prog album. It is conceptual symphonic prog album. It is Latin american answer on slavic creation Indexi - Modra Rijeka that released in the same year, but on my sight, this album have been more brightful and colourful than Modra Rijeka. Still this album reminds me well known creation of Jeff Wayne - The War of the Worlds that released in the same year too. The War of the Worlds is conceptual album too, but noticeably less valuable than El Profeta. There are not different complex symphonic prog passages but beautiful keyboards and accompanying Armando Tirelli's drama prophetical monologues are admire to me. I think that the roots of this album are situated in Italian Prog but correctly to compare one with spanish prog colours on vocals because the lyrics is very important here. However, I give it five stars and highly recommended for all prog fans.

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 El Profeta by TIRELLI, ARMANDO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 27 ratings

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El Profeta
Armando Tirelli Symphonic Prog

Review by Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Armando TIRELLI was a keyboard player who released this rare album, in 1978, inspired by the writings of Gibran Khalil. The music on "El Profeta" shows a strong influence from the Italian prog scene. In fact, there are certain sections that sound like they were recorded by an Italian band around 1973, but the Spanish vocals gives the album a unique South American flavor. I have to admit not liking "El Profeta" after first playing it. Most of the music sounded too dated, and even a bit too romantic. After repeated plays, something strange happened and the compositions grew on me to the point that the CD became one of my favorites. Out of the 13 tracks, I still have a problem with one track entitled "Hablanos Del Amor". That track is an attempt at writing a typical love song. Don't expect complex symphonic prog, but if you're in the mood for romantically beautiful melodies (ala Italian prog), and moods, then you will definitely enjoy "El Profeta".

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 El Profeta by TIRELLI, ARMANDO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.09 | 27 ratings

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El Profeta
Armando Tirelli Symphonic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars One of the most famous progressive rock masterpieces from South America carrying a resounding resemblance to the 70's Ital-prog scene. Armando TIRELLI wrote this concept album and performed all the gorgeous keyboard work on the album (piano, mellotron, synths, organ ) and also adds his soft vocals. There is a small amount of narration throughout which actually reminds me of PHOLAS DACTYLUS',"Concerto Delle Menti" and actually helps hold together the concept nature of this work. This classic album carries an overwhelming parallel to that of Italy's LTTE E MIELE - "Passeo Secundum Mattheum" with melodic, but synth and piano driven instrumentation. All vocals are also excellent and are sung in native language with great conviction. Without a question another one of my top albums with music reaching your spiritual limits. Highly recommended masterpiece.

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