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Rocky's Filj - Storie Di Uomini E Non CD (album) cover

STORIE DI UOMINI E NON

Rocky's Filj

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.17 | 69 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars Great sound, remarkable sound engineering (for the time), and wonderful whole-band musicianship--even on multiple instruments--by each individual band member! A real surprise and gem of a find!

1. "L'Ultima Spiaggia" (13:15) jumps out to a fast, though stop-and-go, start with electric guitar and saxophone playing lead over the very busy, driving rhythm section. At 1:15 things slow down--check that, the bottom drops out- -and we're left with a very spacious section of several individual inputs: mainly clarinet, double bass, flute, and trombone. Very cool; very classical sounding. The music then transitions into a nice, slow section of beautifully picked electric guitar and busy electric bass over which vocalist Rocky Rossi unleashes some very dynamic singing. At 4:40 we shift back into the more classical-yet-this time jazzier section, keeping the electric guitar and electric bass. Eventually the drums and sax and electric guitar join the bass in not one but two little sections of interesting Crimsonian RPI. The sax play in the second half of the seventh minute is almost that of a rhaita (Morrocan oboe). At 7:15 there is yet another shift, this time into a groovy jazz section in which bass and electric guitar get busy running all over their respective fretboards while drummer Rubino Colasante keeps a solid time. At 8:38 another shift into a rapid speed CHICAGO-like section with saxes and guitars trading aggressive ejaculations with singer Rossi. Long sax solo is finally coerced into a slowdown section with bass keeping the song going as Rocky sings his heart out over the top. Very theatric vocal performance--here with an aggressive whisper voice doubling him up. Sax joins in until 11:30 when distorted rhythm guitar strums bridge into a kind of circus tent of disorganized sound before a chord hit allows a brief drum solo which the whole band then joins for the rock ending. Pretty amazing and complex composition! (28/30)

2. "Il Soldato" (6:17) Starts out quite slow with gently picked and strummed electric guitar over which Rocky's distorted voice sings plaintively. Bowed double bass joins in making it a trio before the end of the first verse and is then joined by trombone in the second. Instrumental passage following the second verse features a complex, polyrhythmic weave of all three of these instruments with Rocky's alto sax. Quite lovely! The bowed bass and sax really have the lead as trombone fades out. Then we are left with only the double bass and beautifully picked electric guitar: Roby Grablovitz truly excels at this unusual skill! Rocky's treated voice returns with the guitar, bowed bass and trombone for another verse and then finally a chorus to end the song. Beautiful! And so unique and distinctive! (10/10)

3. "E" (3:57) opens with full band in full swing with electric guitar and sax presenting the rather complicated and fast-moving melody line over bass and drums. Sax gets a little more space and freedom to go off on his own over the first half of the song but then the guitar drops an octave and gets dirtier, louder, before switching to an awesome rhythm section in support of a sax solo. The rhythm section is so tight and the sax really good but this guitarist is mesmerizing! Great jazz-rock song with really tight band cohesion yet not as melodic as I'd like. (9/10)

4. "Io Robot" (7:41) clarinet and bowed double bass open this one and are rapidly joined by delicately picked and strummed jazz guitar and electric bass before singer Rocky Rossi enters with a powerful singing performance. Late in the second minute Rocky finishes and the band shifts into third gear with some really nice chord and melodic play before shifting again into a quick-time bass-led backed-off drums section in which sax solos wildly, testing the effects that can be made with breath. Roby drops his nicely strummed rhythm guitar in order to step in with some quite dynamic flute play before the band shifts into a bridge of crazed sound-making signalling a shift back to the quick-time bass and backed-off drum motif. This doesn't last long as electric guitar picking and cymbal play make room for Rocky to play some sax with a series of long held notes. Quite beautiful! Drums pick it up a bit as Rocky continues this remarkable display of breath capacity ... to the song's end. (14/15)

5. "Martino" (5:41) another song in which the band jumps in whole-hog into a fast-paced jazz-rock instrumental. A minute into the song everybody slows down into a kind of New Orleans funeral march--but this doesn't last long as the band recoups and burst down a side street so that Rocky can let loose with his powerful singing. What I find interesting is that by this point in the album I find myself getting a little bored or inured of the sound made by this band. There is a lot of repetition of form and sound and a lot of short shifts with sudden turns and not quite enough interesting melody for my tastes. Very skilled musicians with some nice creative ideas (that they can pull off!) but not always the most "pleasing" music to listen to. The chord and melodic structures of the second half of the song are more accessible and engaging than the first, which is nice. (9.25/10)

Total Time: 36:51

A/five stars; a masterpiece of dynamic and highly skilled jazz-rock fusion. Why people don't know more about this album I don't know, but they should!

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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