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Rohmer - Rohmer CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.69 | 22 ratings

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5 stars Occasionally out of the blue skies comes an album that can truly be anointed as a progression , beyond the valleys of symphonic, through the dense forests of experimental and over the mighty Italian RPI peaks. Celebrated multi-instrumentalist and prolific maestro bassist Fabio Zuffanti (having a glorious recent past with the legendary Finisterre , the heady La Maschera di Cera, the pastoral H÷stsonaten, folky Aries, experimental Zaal and La Zona, to name just a few) has outdone himself with this supremely evocative and original offering. Firstly beyond the vivid green artwork that glorifies the music even more, the amalgamation of keyboardists Agostino Macor (the next Wakeman/Emerson in my opinion) and Boris Valle has only managed to make us prog fans fantasize even further over ivory pleasures, with colossal use of piano and mellotron throughout the wheezing, highly cinematographic arrangements. Toss in fabulous drummer Maurizio di Tollo (another stellar career) and Fabio weaving his wand and a slew of guests make this a breezy winner. It must be revealed to the unknowing that Rohmer relates to French film making icon Eric Rohmer (A Night at Maude's, la Marquise d'O), a rebellious iconoclast of the silver screen with a strong penchant for exalting the emotionally confused world in which we live in.

Zuffanti emulates appropriately by offering ponderous fluffs of musical puffy clouds, floating in at times unfussy magnificence, occasionally dripping in suave electronics and effects but relying on conventional instruments (piano, flute, reeds, violin) and some superb lead guitar soling as on the opener "Angolo 1", a masterful opening stroke that weaves with intense brilliance, fiery calm and soaring melancholia. The veiled "Ecran Magique" is a short piece that defies simplistic logic, desperately gentle and moving, as voice effects hover within serene strings (that darn violin again!), a perfect intro into the immediately heart rending classic "LHZ ", a dozen minutes of sheer bliss guided by the most elegant piano ever playing a romantic voyage into the foliage of introspection. The Mellotron burns brightly, while the sultry sax of Edmondo Romano expresses some deep pain in accessing some much improvised spacy sprawl, recalling debut King Crimson (what with Ian MacDonald wailing in the background!). Not exactly heavy prog by any stretch but great for sonic contemplation! The piano even does a Keith Tippett-like run on the hypnotic mid section, aided and abetted by some slanderously controlled percussives. Just like a movie soundtrack, man! When the glorious theme returns, it grows in blanket intensity, warmly caressing the soul in some comfortable embrace. English vocals colour the mild "V.(Moda Reale)" , a piano-voice duet that is ultimately very pleasant and "molto Italiano". The next shining piece is "Wittgenstein Mon Amour 2.12", fueled by piano minimalism, jazzy cymbal/snare work and bubbling synths , as a sexy French female voice effect tries the coy telephone approach, a mundane conversation that may infer some hidden feminine agenda. When the trumpet blares its sweet despair and as the mellotron gently heats up the space with warm grace, the enjoyment becomes apparent. "Cifra 3" retains a bleak outlook with its overt yet brief fašade, a piano ripple with the same trumpet crying in vain. "Angolo Due" seems to wink at the meanderings of the much maligned MacDonald-Giles album, presenting a gorgeous lilt on the keys, with slow drum fills and rolling bass, so very cool and wispy that one can only daydream even further! The next 2 tracks really shove the mood into the experimental forefront by juxtaposing distant telephonic effects with simple piano, wood and brass winds on "Melodiche di Salvezza" and especially on the whopping 22 minute + "Elimini-enne" , where a Chinese language broadcast (the male voice) is fluttering in the backdrop, synths gurgling anew, pinging and ponging when prompted and strings riffling through the air. This is perhaps closer to the electronic experimentations of the Cologne school, like Stockhausen but also Faust, Can and company.

If one expects some fanfarish extravaganza then you will be far off the mark, because Rohmer is all about feel and texture, much like the soundtrack to our mind's inner working and perhaps even beyond, where the relaxed soul can rest and gather its thoughts. Ideal music for a classy dinner with friends, odorant foods lurking in the kitchen and bottles of Amarone on the table. A find of great magnitude that will catapult you elsewhere. Yeah, I am back !!!!!

5 Polaroids

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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