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Kaleidon - Free Love CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.29 | 21 ratings

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3 stars Classy sax-heavy jazz rock

Kaleidon was a jazz-rock project of esteemed pianist Stefano Sabatini. The origins of the Roman group begin with another band called "Free Love" who began in the late '60s and had a few singles, described in the Barotto book as "in a rather personal rock style." Tragically a car accident took the life of two band members and injured Sabatini. Later Sabatini would form Kaleidon and there were line-up changes, but the album they recorded would feature saxist Massimo Balla, bassist Franco Tallarita, and drummer Giovanni Liberti. Reportedly recorded in 3 days time, the album was named in honor of the previous ill-fated band. Kaleidon played some large shows at the time and were well received but of course the album didn't do much and the band split. Around the same period Sabatini played in the RPI supergroup Samadhi with members of RRR, Teoremi, and Uovo di Colombo. That group would sadly be short lived as well but Sabatini remains a superb jazz keyboardist to this day.

The "Free Love" album consists of a rather understated jazz-rock with more emphasis on the jazz than the rock. In fact there is no electric guitar on the album. It is lead primarily by Sabatini's prominent acoustic and electric piano, and Balla's sax and flute. The six medium length tracks are competent and reflective, but rarely hysteric or explosive. This is thinking man's jazz I suppose, rather subtle grooves that linger in with the most fiery work coming from the sax. The title track is an example of this, raunchy sax play over e-piano and prominent bass. "Inverno '43" is much more simmering, brooding, with sax and bass sounding like they are recalling some great love affair that never lasted. By mid way through the album I notice the lack of guitar but only because the bass (which is good) is too thin and too low in places. I would love to hear the bass competing more with the others. In its weakest moments "Free Love" can be a bit on the dry side especially for fans of jazz/symphonic RPI mixtures with lots of mischief. But it is highly elegant and really grows on you after many plays. "Oceano" throws a curve ball by going with a flute lead rather than the sax for a unique feel. The mournful saxophone and longing piano runs of closer "Free Love" perhaps deal with the memories of the lost band, if that was truly the intent it is a lovely tribute to lost friends. The Mellow issue features average sound quality for the period and no extra goodies or information. Recommended easily to jazz fans but non-jazzers will find little of interest. Great music over drinks! 7/10

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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