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avestin View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Toto Torquati - Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
    Posted: June 25 2008 at 15:38
TORQUATI, TOTO  - Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
 
PA bio:
 
Antonio "Toto" Torquati is an excellent keyboardist, blind from his birth who had a very promising career as a session musician, first in the jazz circuit and subsequently in the pop field, playing with many famous pop artists as Claudio Baglioni, Lucio Dalla, Gianni Morandi, Mina and, later, in Gepy & Gepy group.

A little-known debut album appeared in 1972, simply titled with his real name "Antonio Torquati". It's a ten-tracks instrumental based on moog and keyboards and includes cover versions of 60's hits, like Oh! Happy Day or Aquarius.
A second one, more mature work, appeared in 1973 as "Gli Occhi di un Bambino" but, unfortunately, went totally unnoticed at the time. It's generally regarded as an excellent example of italian symphonic prog. The album is in fact heavily orchestrated and contains classical and progressive elements.

Torquati has totally disappeared as a solo artist after a commercial single in 1977, "Tenero al Cioccolato", but he kept collaborating with many popular artists and still has a recording studio in Rome.
His return to a record release was in 2007 with a new CD entitled Vita, Amore e Musica.

This is his usual (nowadays) keyboards' set: Kurzweil K 2500 128 Mb Sample Memory 88 Piano Keyboards,
Korg Trinity Plus Full Options, Hammond B3 with Leslie, Roland VS 880 Expanded, Yamaha Kx 88 master Keyboards, Akay S 3200 Sampler, Korg 01 W FD, Korg T3, Korg WaveStation A/D, Yamaha TG 500, Roland D 550, Yamaha TX 816.
 
 
Album reviews:
 Mandrakeroot
(Andrea Salvador)
5%20stars My review is produced using this release: BMG 82876544112

Rating: 9/10

Oh my God... This is a very beautiful gem. Is a very good gem of Song Songwriter Prog!!! Toto Torquati is one of the best Italian keyboarder, songwriter and sessionman, it is in Jazz that POP field thanks to the musical studies that it turned from the age of 5 years. Its sensibility derives from the fact of to be blind from the birth. If you think that "Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino" is a disc for keyboards you are outside road. Rather it is an autobiographical album, because Toto Torquati seeks to express those feelings that every blind test cause the scarcity of the sight (with the help of the beautiful voice of Gepy & Gepy and the lyrics of Sergio Bardotti and Sergepy). This is a trip from Jazz to Bach, to Pink Floyd and John Lennon to Wagnerand Verdi. And, everything with a sole sensibility. From one of the best Jazzist of Italy and Europe this is the minimum. The music is, in general, Symphonic Prog but with song songwriter approach and Jazzy arrengements with orchestra (that play a Wagnerian interludes and that have "La Terra Che Nessuno Conosce" to explode). "The Eyes Of A Child" (this is the title in English) is a very fine album also for the lyrics, since, even though written from seeing authors, they reflect the state of mind of a blind person, in this helped from the Soul voices of Gepy & Gepy (that knew well Torquati because their keyboarder). Other thing that astonishes is like Toto Torquati restive almost in apart, produced only interventions of support to the music, doing not result invading and without research rhythmic soli, does that it is appreciated with a so cheerful dramatic music. And, actual the combinations of the ingredients that I wanted to describe in this review, give back "Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino" a real gem.

One of the best Song songwriter Prog albums. One of the more aged well. Practically fresh like the water of a torrent of mountain. To listen to when it it is sought a comfort in a difficult moment.

Report this review (#122959) | Posted Monday, May 21, 2007 | Review Permalink

 Finnforest
(James Russell)
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Italian Symphonic Prog Team
4%20stars Warm, classy Italian keyboard gem

What an interesting find. Here we have an Italian treasure from a session man and keyboard extraordinaire. The album is a strange concoction of orchestral music, prog rock, and pop that might remind you of Rustichelli Bordini or Tower in that you have an accomplished keyboardist dabbling his toes in whatever tickles his fancy. The results were very good despite the potential pitfalls. What is quite notable is the fantastic playing and solid production values; the bass, drums, guitars, keys, and vocals all shimmer with brightness and clarity considering this is 1973 (and the nice cd remaster helps too.)

“La Terra” opens the album with a majestic orchestral introduction. “Il Mattino Dopo” is completely different shifting to an electric guitar riff with some piano coming in followed by a big synth sound. “Dove il Buio e’Signore” begins with some fluid bass alone and some beautiful backing vocals before the warm and rich main vocal begins. Then a great funky section with piano and wistful horns leading to a killer electric guitar solo. The playing is very tight but also with lots of emotion. This is a standout track to be sure. “Tu” begins with solo piano moving from moods of tension to sadness, very nice. Then we get a very soft introspective sounding vocal with piano and e-guitar. Towards the end a huge choir comes in and the vocals surge to a great crescendo before the track ends as it began with solo piano. “Adagio” is a strange one starting slow and changing to sections of breezy pop to a nice dual flute solo. Side one ends with “Gesu Quel Giorno” which features a nice organ intro. Then it gets an almost gospel feel with some nice choirs backing the piano and heartfelt vocal. Side two begins with an introduction called “Presagio” that leads into “Uomo Nasce” which is the longest track and another winner. The first section features energetic strummed clean guitars over a funky rhythm. A second section is completely different with the band replaced by strings. Soon the band comes back for a reprise of the main melody. “Adagio” is a wistful orchestral piece. “Il Conto Alla Rovescia” features spicy keyboard runs and hand percussion. “Era L’ora” is a lovely gentle piano ballad. Suitably we close with the opening “La Terra” orchestrations.

“The Eyes of a Child” is really a remarkably pleasant surprise that will knock the socks off of many Italian fans who seek it out. It is warm, inviting, and easy to enjoy. Recommended to Italian fans, keyboard fans, and fans of prog that incorporates classical and jazz elements. There’s a nice BMG gatefold mini-lp sleeve reissue of this one available if you can find it.

Report this review (#150240) | Posted Sunday, November 11, 2007 | Review Permalink

 Andrea Cortese
(Andrea Cortese)
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Italian Prog Specialist
3%20stars Really good eclectic work.

Toto Torquati offers a great variety of styles here, from strong orchestral movements to more intimate classic piano interludes (as in Tu) to symphonic prog and even to gospel with some gentle funky touches. All the compositions are based upon an optimistic feel around the figure of childhood and the need of protection it deserves.

Despite this is one of the more obscure records from the classic italian prog scene, Gli Occhi di un Bambino is rather well produced and arrenged.

Sometimes it may appear in a similar vein to RUSTICHELLI E BORDINI for the massive use of keyboards: hammond organ, wurlitzer piano, ARP 2600, eminent and celesta. Vocals by Gepy and Gepy are in a similar low pitch but less harsh and more sharp. The general mood of the album is also very different, less adventurous and slightly more pop. Guitar playing is usually tight, nervous at times. Drums are NOT subdued.

I would compare it with RICCARDO COCCIANTE's debut titled MU for those who know him.

Presagio / Uomo Nasce, Fiore Cresce, Appascise, Muore (7:51) is the loger and probably the most exciting track for the aficionados. It's divided in two parts, symphonic prog in the first part then another majestic orchestral movement until the main theme returns.

3.5 stars.



Report this review (#162008) | Posted Sunday, February 17, 2008 | Review Permalink

 
 
Studio Album, released in 1973

Track Listings

Side 1:
1. La Terra Che Nessuno Conosce
2. Il Mattino Dopo
3. Dove Il Buio È Signore
4. Tu
5. Adagio Per Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
6. Gesù Quel Giorno
Side 2:
1. Presagio
2. Uomo Nasce Fiore Cresce Appassisce E Muore
3. Adagio Per Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
4. Il Conto Alla Rovescia
5. Era L'Ora Del Tramonto
6. La Terra Che Nessuno Conosce

Line-up/Musicians

- Massino Buzzi / drums
- Michele Jannacone / drums, percussion
- Luciano Ciccaglioni / acoustic and electric guitars
- Mario scotti / bass, Fender fretless bass
- Toto Torquati / Yamaha "Gran Concerto" piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer piano, ARP 2600, Eminent, Celesta
- Gepy & Gepy / vocals
- Nicola Samele / orchestra conductor

Releases information

LP 1973 RCA Italiana DPSL 10573
LP/ CD 1999 Akarma AK 1012
CD2003 BMG 82876544112

 
 
 
 
 


Edited by avestin - June 25 2008 at 15:38
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2008 at 17:47
Great album, indeed, Assaf. I hope to read more reviews in the near future. Aficionados of classic symphonic prog should find it very interesting. It's basely a true eclectic work, though with massive use of keyboards and orchestra.
 
It has some gentle pop touch and it's what moved me to compare it to MU (1973), the debut album of Riccardo Cocciante, an absolute favourite of mine, another highly recommendable record.


Edited by Andrea Cortese - June 25 2008 at 17:48
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2008 at 18:07
Originally posted by Andrea Cortese

Great album, indeed, Assaf. I hope to read more reviews in the near future. Aficionados of classic symphonic prog should find it very interesting. It's basely a true eclectic work, though with massive use of keyboards and orchestra.
 
It has some gentle pop touch and it's what moved me to compare it to MU (1973), the debut album of Riccardo Cocciante, an absolute favourite of mine, another highly recommendable record.
 
I confirm!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 22:59

Excellent suggestion, this is an album that i really regret not having bought it when i could, as Andrea Cortese said this is pure classic symphonic rock, at its best!

 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 23:01
I love this album Guillermo...  some BEAUTIFUL moments on this album that hit you right where it counts... err.. the heart I mean LOL  Get it... you'll love it.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 23:03
Just got this one a few weeks ago on blowout from Wayside.  Been looking forward to giving it a listen, haven't heard a negative remark yet...I'll have to get back to you later...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 27 2008 at 23:03
Originally posted by Andrea Cortese

 
It has some gentle pop touch and it's what moved me to compare it to MU (1973), the debut album of Riccardo Cocciante, an absolute favourite of mine, another highly recommendable record.


indeed... that album took me some time to get into.. but once it clicked...  it gets lots of plays here... highly recommended. Clap



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Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 28 2008 at 00:00
Originally posted by micky

I love this album Guillermo...  some BEAUTIFUL moments on this album that hit you right where it counts... err.. the heart I mean LOL  Get it... you'll love it.
 
Yes i know, i once saw it but did not buy it, i totally regret but i promise i will buy it Wink

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