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Arti E Mestieri - Tilt - Immagini Per Un Orecchio CD (album) cover


Arti E Mestieri


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.30 | 221 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars How is this album, this band not as famous and talked about as other Italian prog from the mid-70s? The instrumental prowess, mature songwriting, broad dynamics, and great production here is to my mind on par with PFM, Banco, and Cervello and even AREA! Prog of ANY era does not get better than this--especially in the fact that acoustic and folk elements are worked in and there were no computers! Where are people finding the deficiencies or inadequacies! Not in melody. Not in sophistication. Not in sound quality. Is it in the seeming lack of originality? (I read all the comparisons to Mahvishnu and Jean-Luc Ponty.) Break out albums happen. The fact that they emulated--that they inspire other musicians to create in a similar style--should be rewarded not penalized! To strive to be the best--to go through doors that other geniuses have opened--should be lauded and encouraged, not denigrated and discouraged! They may even end up refining something to make it even better! But it could never happen if they are discouraged from trying. I have no hesitation calling this album a masterpiece of progressive rock music--composition and performances of the absolute highest caliber---and, best of all, very accessible/engaging and enjoyable (as opposed to some of the obtuse and jarring music made by Mahvishnu, Miles, and even Yes. Check this album out everybody! It's a work of genius, passion, and inspiration from start to finish. It should be heralded as one of the shining pieces of 1970s progressive rock music--not just RPI or jazz-rock fusion.

1. "GravitÓ 9,81" (4:05) opens the album with an energetic burst before backing off to allow for an almost chamber strings intro. At the one minute mark everybody in the band jumps into a fully formed JEAN-LUC PONTY-sounding song of high speed, tight sequencing of high complexity, and very catchy melodic presentation with violin in the lead. At the two minute mark things break and shift to a slightly slower tempo a different structure as the bass and saxophone become more prominent. Amazing drumming throughout and nice presence of Mellotron in the background. At 3:40 we return to the violin theme of the second minute for the finale. Tight song of melodic and instrumental perfection. (9.5/10)

2. Strips (4:39) drum kit and piano and synth bass line open this before the 'tron and violin enter and the drums kick into full gear. Saxes enter later with a second melody introduced into the weave. After 90 seconds things stop and restart with vocals! Multi-voiced, gentle, even sappy--as acoustic guitars, xylophone, and Mellotron accompany in a gentler fashion than the previous section. At the three minute mark the vocals end and piano, violin, xylophone and acoustic guitar take turns with the melody in between singing sections while drums and bass support in a kind of staccato way for the final two minutes of the song. Unexpected and nice! (9/10)

3. Corrosione (1:37) opens with Mellotron strings before bass, keys, and cymbals crash in with two-stroke pattern over which roto-toms and sax. It turns out that this song is merely a bridge between "Strips" and "Positivo / Negativo" as both songs bleed into each other. A kind of three-chord experiment over which drummer gets to play and sax and keys hold down the melody and chordal structure before going into: (4.5/5)

4. "Positivo / Negativo" (3:29) opens with slow, forceful single-stroke strums of a 12-string guitar accompanied by congas. Violin, synths, cymbal play and vibraphone join in. The tempo shifts a couple of times as vibraphone takes a brief turn at lead until at 1:40 things stop, new keyboard instrument takes over the "strum" of the guitar as rest of band jumps it at breakneck speed to allow shapeshifting extravaganza of solo-turn-taking--saxes, violin, electric guitar, vibes, and then all in unison!--and this while the bass and drums are terrorizing the rhythm tracks beneath. Wow! Impressive! (9.5/10)

5. "In Cammino" (5:36) opens with some beautiful slow sax and, later, vocalise melody-making with piano and brushes providing some support. At 1:45 there is a stop as piano and electric piano provide a pretty bridge into a new section in which full band supports violin and sax dual lead melody establishment. Frequent stops, breaks, tempo and stylistic shifts follow though the busy bass, drums, and keys remain at the foundation of it all throughout. Nice electric piano and electric guitar soloing in the fifth minute. Man, this band is tight! J-RF doesn't get much better than this! (9.5/10)

6. "Farenheit" (1:15) opens as if a little piano interlude ditty, but after the first run through the piece, seconded by sax, and then full rhythm section for the third, and sax and violin for the fourth and fifth. (4.25/5)

7. "Articolazioni (13:24) opens a bit like something from PFM's Per un amico, slow and exploratory, not ready to commit to full song but willing to play around with a theme. At the one minute mark there is a pause before the band kicks into a mid-tempo, full band jazz-rock exposition with violin, sax and electric guitar providing the melody in triplicate. Music shifts behind speeded up, frenetic drums yet slowed down bass and keys while violin, sax, and guitar take turns teaming up or independently carrying the melody forward. At 2:46 there is another break before soprano saxophone restores the melody while drums and bass provide a slow, sparse, stoccato accompaniment. At 3:17 a cool drum roll across the toms signals a new full-on dynamic commitment, but this is short-lived as a lot of shifts and transition/transformations occur before a slightly more straightforward (Brian Auger-like) singing section begins by the end of the fourth minute. Cool tension in the transition at the 5:00 mark and thereafter--a kind of preview of BRUFORD/UK-ishness. Speaking of which, man is this drummer amazing! soft and loud, subtle and intricate, fills and cymbal work that have blinding speed, and always in command as the staunch time-keeper. Very cool instrumental sections broken up by brief vocal sections play out with lots of vibes, 'tron, violin and sax in the lead. One neat thing about this band seems to be that the lead instrument is always propelling the songs' melodies with very detailed, intricate, and often-doubled up melody lines and that the actual "solos" are actually very few and brief. At 10:30 there is a big downshift in both tempo, delicacy, and mood with vibes and violin establishing the melody while drums do all kinds of wildly impressive subtleties before sensitive singing enters. At l1:45 band amps up for the full exposition of the current melody before 'tron and flanged strummed electric guitar guide us into a kind of GENESIS "As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs" finale. Great song with dazzling but never over-the-top or overwhelming complexity, constant beauty in the melodies. (24/25)

8. "Tilt" (2:29) an exercise/Útude in synthesizer weirdness--including special effects being applied to saxophones and violin. Not exactly melodic or very memorable, it is a fitting representative of the infatuations that new technologies must have been causing adventurous musicians in the early 1970s. (4/5)

Total Time 36:34

Five stars; a true masterpiece of jazz-rock fusion from the classic era of Rock Progressivo Italiano.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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