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Pimpernal View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Area - Jazz Fusion or Prog Rock Italiano?
    Posted: April 14 2010 at 15:52
What do you guys think? Should the Italian band be listed under Jazz Fusion or Prog rock italiano
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 16:24
Hi Emil! 
My own personal opinion is that they are fine in RPI.  There are certainly many "jazz rock" bands with an Italian address who have little sound characteristic of RPI, little Italian "flavor" if you will, they may be instrumental or not, but if listening you really would not know where they are from.  Heavily jazz oriented these kinds of Italian jazz bands fit well in J/F and we would place them there. 

Area is a mixed bag.  Certainly the jazz element is there but it's not the only consideration.  They were important to the Italian music scene of the 70s, politically and otherwise, so there's the historical factor.   They have the vocals present, but more importantly the wildness and flair of their style, which helps to give it that unique Italian feel....as opposed to something dryer like Kaleidon which fits perfectly in J/F.

That's just my take, off the top of my head.  J/F would work, but RPI works too in Area's case, and the team felt they were best suited there being such colorful members of the classic era.  In fact the placement of Area in RPI was discussed and agreed to by both the J/F team and the RPI team.  Others will disagree and that's fine too.  We do the best we can with placements, it's hard to please everyone.Smile






Edited by Finnforest - April 14 2010 at 16:34


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 19:30
I have listened to Area for quite some time and I happen to agree that it stands out more as Jazz Fusion then RPI.  When you listen to bands like PFM, Banco, Maxophone, Le Orme etc, you can identify the more classically oriented sound that they produce as pure RPI.  Just because AREA is from Italy, doesn't necessarily mean that should be dubbed RPI when they have a dominant jazz fusion sound. 

In fact, the RPI movement spread like wildfire because each band that came on the scene wanted to outdo the last by making their album more musical.  This includes a more classical approach to songwriting as well as instrumentation.  Maybe this could have been the undoing of the classic RPI movement.  Their albums may have gotten a little too classical and less rock oriented which probably pushed fans away little by little.  Any way, that is just my opinion and I am purely speculating.  

However, this is the beauty of this board....you will always have people who see things in different ways.  Not to say that the people who categorize this music is incorrect, its a daunting task I am sure.  But it sure makes things interesting when a question like this is raised.

Just my 2 cents 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 19:42
Well, I think the latter is a somewhat inane but sometimes neccessary classification, and given how solidly Area can fit in jazz fusion, I'd rather see them there (I certainly don't sense the thinly veiled classical sound that seems the most identifiable actual musical characteristic of RPI and most of their unique characteristics sound somewhat more in).

Can't claim to be an expert on the genre, and don't really mind either way.


Edited by TGM: Orb - April 14 2010 at 19:59
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 19:44
Originally posted by Johnnytuba

I have listened to Area for quite some time and I happen to agree that it stands out more as Jazz Fusion then RPI.  When you listen to bands like PFM, Banco, Maxophone, Le Orme etc, you can identify the more classically oriented sound that they produce as pure RPI.  Just because AREA is from Italy, doesn't necessarily mean that should be dubbed RPI when they have a dominant jazz fusion sound. 

In fact, the RPI movement spread like wildfire because each band that came on the scene wanted to outdo the last by making their album more musical.  This includes a more classical approach to songwriting as well as instrumentation.  Maybe this could have been the undoing of the classic RPI movement.  Their albums may have gotten a little too classical and less rock oriented which probably pushed fans away little by little.  Any way, that is just my opinion and I am purely speculating.  

However, this is the beauty of this board....you will always have people who see things in different ways.  Not to say that the people who categorize this music is incorrect, its a daunting task I am sure.  But it sure makes things interesting when a question like this is raised.

Just my 2 cents 



Totally agree with the bolded part of your post.  And as I mentioned, geography is not the sole reason they, or anyone else, gets added to RPI.  RPI bands must meet the definition of the subgenre, just like any subgenre on the site.  We often reject Italian bands for RPI when their music fits another subgenre better.  


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 19:48
Area is a bit of a special case given how important they were to the classic era, we felt they belonged in the sub.  But our decision was simply our judgement.  They can of course be moved to J/F at the discretion of the Admin team if they feel we botched the placement.  We don't claim to be all knowing on the RPI team, we're just doing our best with our understanding of the scene.   Wink


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 21:27
Personally i think they should be in RPI. Weren't they in Jazz/Fusion before? Anyway they have such a unique sound and for me and it's that Italian flavour that stands out above all.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 21:32
Hey John!  They used to be in JF until the Def was written, at which time the move was agreed by the RPI team, and OK'd by the JF team.  We felt they were an important part of RPI history and that many site cruisin' RPI fans would find them at home with the newly defined subgenre. 

JF is only a part of their true essence, IMO. 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 21:58
RPI probably a better fit than JR/F - but no matter the category, they kick ass and that's all the matters
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2010 at 22:02
Originally posted by Padraic

RPI probably a better fit than JR/F - but no matter the category, they kick ass and that's all the matters


Amen Pat!  Clap


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 00:18
Originally posted by Finnforest

Originally posted by Padraic

RPI probably a better fit than JR/F - but no matter the category, they kick ass and that's all the matters


Amen Pat!  Clap

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 13:34
I'm gonna play the troll card here and say that Italy is a country, not a genre. Every band there could comfortably fit in one of the other subs. Geek
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 14:34
Originally posted by Sckxyss

I'm gonna play the troll card here and say that Italy is a country, not a genre. Every band there could comfortably fit in one of the other subs. Geek
 
 
Hi Alex, you're not trolling.  There are many people who share your opinion.  But there are quite a few others who believe that RPI, like Krautrock, has enough of a cannon and style to be legitimate.  I'm thankful this site believes that.  Smile


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 14:42

Agree to that, RPI is a flavour of prog, just like Canterbury and kraut are.

After struggling with PFM for a while, Area cracked the RPI can for me.
At first I took them for jazz-rock / RIO as well, but knowing more RPI albums now, I don't think they are all that different from other wild RPI bands such as Baletto, Osanna, Cervello etc...



Edited by Bonnek - April 15 2010 at 14:42
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 15:25
What about the Swedish retro-prog bands that emerged in the early '90s? I think that it's unfair to label '80s Symphonic Prog as Neo Prog while completely ignoring the '90s phenomenon. Wink


Edit: Apparently it's labeled as the second birth of Symphonic Progressive genre in the descriptionTongue

Edited by Rune2000 - April 15 2010 at 15:30
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 17:00
Originally posted by Finnforest

Originally posted by Sckxyss

I'm gonna play the troll card here and say that Italy is a country, not a genre. Every band there could comfortably fit in one of the other subs. Geek
 
 
Hi Alex, you're not trolling.  There are many people who share your opinion.  But there are quite a few others who believe that RPI, like Krautrock, has enough of a cannon and style to be legitimate.  I'm thankful this site believes that.  Smile


No problem with that. Loads of bands and artists with a similar attitude/approach linked to a place or country is one way of defining a genre/style. But nothing about Area's music can be considered RPI. Geography alone isn't enough.

German bands (correctly) placed in jazzfusion like Kraan, Out Of Focus and  Embryo have more incommon with krautrock than Area has with the Rock Progressivo Italiano-sound.

(It could be argued that Area should be in avant/RIO)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 17:55
Well, obviously I don't agree, as I stated in my OP to the gentlemen's question.....the new RPI definition is a significantly wider one than the previous "Italian symphonic" (ISP subgenre).  In the opinion of the team Area is a big part of that scene and in fact helps define it with their spirit and wildness.  We agree it's not about geography alone, as I've already writtenSmile

 



 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2010 at 19:15
Clearly there will be debate about things like this.  Here's my perspective: if I were new to Area, where would I most likely come across them and discover their greatness?  RPI.  Sure, there are some JRF elements.  But there are other elements as well, and the best RPI bands of the 70s were a great amalgamation of many influences seen in Italy, including jazz, avant, opera, classical, folk, fusion, psychedelic, and symphonic prog.  Clearly, each had their own spin and unique blend of influence.  But in Area's case, both for the music and the historical importance, not to mention the newbie litmus test, Area is best served in RPI.  I once talked to a guy who fairly convincingly argued that Area was more avant than anything!
 
And I too am grateful for the separate RPI subgenre, which is a tremendous asset to the site in my opinion.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2010 at 04:43
^Following the arguments/logic by you two, we should include Arte E Mestieri, Sensation's Fix (both would make more sense musically,  than Area), Dedalus, Perigeo, Picchio Dal Pozzo etc... in RPI, too.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2010 at 05:23
I don't think so, Arti is a "dryer" jazz rock that fits well in JF.  Sensations I've not heard, so I can't comment yet.  Area is a more specialized case.  But you're entitled to your opinions man, as I said, there are others who feel as you do, and some who agree with us, it's not always open and shut case.  Some bands *could* be in more than one genre.  The RPI team more than any other is used to being second-guessed, remember, there are many people who feel we are not even a legitimate subgenre.  It's not up to me to change your opinion, I'm here to serve the music.  Write a letter to the big dogs making your case, maybe they'll move Area back for you if you think its such a disgrace.  Wink

I gave my opinion, I'll bow out now and let others have their say. 




Edited by Finnforest - April 16 2010 at 05:47


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