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3 stars For their last Lp Osanna changed a bit their style turning to jazz-rock sung in the Naples slang. It's not an essential release but still very captivating to my ears, considering the great musicianship of this quintet. Good.
Report this review (#5364)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars In 1977, after the negative experiences of Uno and CittÓ Frontale, founder members Lino Vairetti, Danilo Rustici and Massimo Guarino reformed Osanna with a new line up featuring Enzo Petrone on bass and Fabrizio D'Angelo Lancellotti on keyboards and synthesizers. "Suddance" was released in 1978, when the Halcyon Days of prog were coming to an end... This album could be very disappointing for old fans since Osanna here were trying to find a new musical direction blending rock, soul and jazz with the traditions of Naples, but in my opinion the result is not bad at all...

"Suddance" is very different from Osanna's early works (the album features also some guest musicians like Benni Caiazzo on sax and Antonio Spagnolo on electric violin), nonetheless here you can find at least one outstanding track, the suggestive and melancholic "A zingara" (The Gipsy woman) featuring a mysterious mood... Lyrics are sung in the dialect of Naples and describe the desperate life of gipsy woman with "music and hope in her heart" who is rejected by the society... "She's a gipsy and she causes fear / That's why everybody avoids her in the street / She is so desperate to bang her head against the wall / But every time she asks for help people pretend they don't see her..."...

There are other good tracks, like the opener "Ce vulesse" and the instrumental title track, more in a jazz rock vein, or the long and desperate "Chiuso qui" (the only one sung in Italian and featuring "claustrophobic" lyrics that describe the feelings of an inmate)... However, the overall sound is closer to the genre that is known as "Neapolitan Power" (very successful in the early Eighties and spearheaded by Pino Daniele) than to the peculiar prog of the early Osanna albums...

Although it is not an essential album, at length "Suddance" is a good work released by an excellent group of musicians who were trying to explore new musical paths to go further... It's a pity that they had to stop!

Report this review (#133828)
Posted Sunday, August 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars After their first break, ź Osanna ╗ came back with a new line-up (still featuring a few founding members).

This album though has little to do with the Italian symphonic genre. Be warned: this is almost fully jazz- rock, unfortunately. Funky moods as well are present in the opening track "Ce Vulesse". The best being the excellent guitar work from veteran Danilo Rustici.

The band is also exploring some soul mood ("A Zingara"), but I have to say that I am not convinced by this type of music. Soul sung in Italian. (although, it appears from other reviews, that it is sung into the Naples dialect).

This album could have been easily catalogued into the jazz-rock genre. The longest track from this album (almost ten minutes) "O Napulitano" is another example. Still a pleasant jazz number with lots of keyboards and fine vocal parts. The great work from the rhythmic section ahs to be underlined as well.

But going through the whole of this album at a stretch is too monotonous for my ears. These tracks sounds too much of the same and can't overwhelm me. Especially during a pure instrumental as "Suddance".

My favourite song is "Chiuso Qui". A sweet Italian ballad, highlighted with some very good sax work and emotive vocals. It is all sweetness (a bit languorous as well). Of course, the jazzy atmosphere is not forgotten, but in a more symphonic way this time. Rustici is again excellent.

I have rated each "Osanna" album with three stars so far. This time, I can't go over two. Maybe a good jazz album, but an average "Osanna" one IMO.

Report this review (#171252)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The flow that progressive various bands in Italy were gradually becoming main currents the 1970's will have been a situation to face it from time as the dawn to the time of development indeed. It is also true that the band that had drawn the flow of psychedelic and Beat Rock that was the main current till then was advancing attended with a conversion of directionality and a technical improvement.

Various bands are the movements that original pursuit and the ability of the performance pursue. And, the digestion of the part where the culture and other music were good might have been given. The work of the band in various Italy that was able to listen from a board in the 1970's might have invented a lot of masterpieces. And, the contribution to the chart was an indeed splendid situation. However, middle in the 70's might have been time when directionality had been converted through necessity for the activity of a lot of bands that joined the mainstream.

Osanna also had already established the existence as a band that always delivered originality and artistry. The perfection of the music character constructed with "Palepoli" still excites the listener and the fan as one of the masterpieces. The development of the expression with the enchantment part expressed in "Palepoli" and native might be very complete even if it considers it from an artistic viewpoint.

It is a content in "Landscape Of Life" announced in 1974 felt that an extension of width as the band and an original part are enough though music is constructed in shape to hide a native part a little. And, the situation for the activity of the band in Italy is gradually revolutionized in 1974 this.

"Landscape Of Life" is virtual the last album for Osanna at that time. The directionality of a band at that time might have requested the place of development and the activity of music further if it thought in the region of the guess. Of course, this is not true limited to Osanna. The crisis of oil that takes a hit worldwide is said that Italy of this time also attacked it. Various bands and label might have declined. Dissolution of band. Or, the citizenship of the band moves to acquisition in the sphere in English. These movements showed active movement centering on PFM. Advancement to another country by the band might have changed the market of the music of Italy a little.

It is said that Osanna that announced "Landscape Of Life" had not already carried out the function as the band. Each member dismantles it for the place of the following activity and the place of the creation. The situation of this division is a well-known fact for the fan. Opening of music character by "Uno" to which Danilo Rustici is related. And, the Rustici brother moves the place of the activity to Britain with Elio d 'Anna. The flow leads to the formation of "Nova". Massimo Guarino and Lino Vairetti have the flow that moves to "Citta Frontale". They might have been exactly aiming at the pursuit of the music character further in each standpoint. The advancement of creativity and the construction of the idea might have been cultivated enough of course.

Danilo Rustici turns back to Naples at once after it participates in the first album of "Nova". It might have been thought that the place concerning the creation of the standpoint cultivated in Naples and the music character was in the home country as a result if it guessed. Each member will begin to move to the reorganization of Osanna before long. Construction and idea of flow from "Uno" to "Nova" and new music character. And, it is partial of uniting the music character from "Citta Frontale". It is an age of 1978 and a refined part in those situations. And, the music character that each member cultivated is remarkably expressed in the content of "Suddance".

Reorganized Osanna announced this "Suddance" in 1978. Album..player..participate.It is a person that participated in the recording instead who is called Benni Caiazzo. The performance of Benni Caiazzo listens to the sound with gloss that indeed catches the age compared with the construction of the aggressive, good melody that Elio d 'Anna has. And, the participation of Antonio Spagnolo that seems that it is networks of Corrado Rustici it might be a point that should make a special mention for this album. Flow of dismantlement and restructuring exactly. And, the music caught in the music character that each member cultivated as a part where the age united completely is opened.

"Ce Vulesse" starts by the progress of complete Chord. Anacatesthesia and transparent feeling. And, the sound in which elements of a few Fusion/Crossover are taken is constructed. The flow from native till then is completely refined and expressed. The age might have exactly supported it. Sound of Rhodes that produces Groove. Sound of guitar that produces atmosphere by effect of Chorus. Complex melody and rhythm that develops one after another. Theme with tension. Development advanced as the element of Jazz Rock is taken might be splendid. The tune is completely refined.

"'A Zingara" starts by a beautiful guitar and piano arpeggio. The melody of complete expression of feelings and the song produces the highest ballade. The point that should make a special mention might be height of power of expression by the song of Lino Vairetti. It puts on the melody of Lino Variretti earnestly sung and the obbligati of the piano and the keyboard shines. Contribution with percussion instrument. Flow of piano freely expressed. It listens to an overwhelming expression as a ballade that doesn't stay in a simple composition. It is their eminent exactly ballade.

"'O Napulitano" starts by the melody of the guitar and Sax with a transparent feeling. The rhythm of six rhythms is reminiscent of the flow of the waltz. Groove and the transparent feeling that the band makes in union might be splendid. Their cultures and the cultivated music characters are reflected well in the age. Melody of song and transparent feeling of guitar. And, Chord that goes up in the sky progresses. The sense of relief rises. The obbligati of the guitar and the keyboard contributes to the tune while continuing Groove. Composition completely calculated while following idea to listen by "Landscape Of Life". The part where good development of Solo and Fusion by Rhodes was taken has succeeded splendidly.

"Suddance" shifts to the part of the dash feeling attended with the guitar that runs in piano Chord and the space that produces a complete anacatesthesia. It advances attended with good development of Jazz/Fusion. Sound of keyboard and guitar that creates space. It is a tune with a considerably technical element. Melody of guitar that puts on rhythm of 16 notes and flits. Repeated piano transparent feeling. The tune continues the form of almost technical Jazz Rock. However, the idea and the originality of Osanna might be included as a result as for the general feel.

"Chiuso Qui" starts by Sax completely refined and piano melody. The construction of perfect expression of feelings that bases their ages is splendid. Part of ensemble of band in close relation to part where complete melody is sung. Height of power of expression of keyboard and guitar that expresses sensual melody. Part of obbligati of Solo of Bass in close relation to space that flows slowly and Sax. The tune increases the dash feeling in the part of Solo of the guitar. The part of the unison that each member draws out in union will call impression. It consistently has the flow with a good Sax and piano that continues atmosphere, too.

"Saraceno" makes the part of the connection act in the flow of this album. Melody of glossy, acoustic guitar. The sound of the decoration with a transparent feeling shines. One space and space might be produced. The sound of the keyboard is also effective.

The melody with a progressive sound in Solo of glossy Sax twines round "Naples In The World". The music character of Area and Colosseum 2 will be reminiscent. The sound of the song and Rhodes with a bright melody in the rhythm to emphasize Groove twines well. The development of a few Funk and Fusion expands width as an impression of the album. The tune willingly receives the end while intermittently constructing the melody.

It is exactly an album in each member's technology that completely unites the idea and the age. The flow constructed as the taste of Jazz Rock/Fusion twining round the whole might be splendid. The listener feels the sound in 1978. And, I will feel the sky in Naples.

Report this review (#264877)
Posted Sunday, February 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the wildly uneven Landscape of Life and the tensions it wrought - fracturing Osanna into various side projects and even flinging a few members out of Italy altogether, three of the original players returned with the jazz rock fusion influenced album Suddance, bringing along a few new members and some guests.

Released in 1978, the album is easily their most consistent since Palepoli - and perhaps their most consistent alongside the great Palepoli or their soundtrack, Milano Calibre 9. Having said that, this doesn't mean that I believe it's more enjoyable for the progressive rock fan, than say Palepoli. Instead, the jazz rock fan, the fusion fan, or simply fans of Italian rock in general, will probably enjoy this one a little more than the typical symphonic fan. Fans of Osanna's 'old' sound too, will miss Elio d'Anna's wonderful flute and his aggressive saxophone. Always a key part of their sound, his absence represents a loss for us - and yet, clearly the group wasn't writing their best material just before he left either.

And so when guitarist Danilo Rustici returned some years after their first disbanding in 1975, Lino Vairetti and drummer Massimo Guarino welcomed him back and pulled in a new bassist and keyboardist, Enzo Petrone and Fabrizio D'Angelo Lancellotti respectively. In short, it is Lancellotti's impact that is felt most of the two, his keys and especially the electric piano providing part of the jazzy sound or ethereal feel to much of the material. Suddance is also reliant on a guest to fill another hole left by d'Anna - that of his saxphone. Collaborator Benni Caiazzo fits in just fine, but his choices can border on the cheesy for me. It's hardly a terrible performance, but he doesn't use his instruments with the same abandon and I miss that.

Having said that, this album isn't really about abandon. It's more measured, the songs are built, and themes are explored at length across a few songs rather than crammed into side-long epics. (I still love 'Animals without Breath' though) The production values are representative of the late seventies, which is to say a step up on the band's early work. The sacrifice is losing the rawness, but the payoff is a full, together sound that's warm and clear.

To the songs themselves. Rather than do a blow-by-blow analysis, I'd rather draw attention to some strengths. The album is stacked to favour side one, with the first four songs being pretty darn good and the second half having a misstep or two. Perhaps as much as Lino with his knockout performances, it's Danilo who shines, versatile as ever, continuing to excel in a jazzier vein. He's hypnotic in the opening of ''O Napulitano', which is reminiscent of a gentle 'Meeting of the Spirits' by the Mahavishnu Orchestra, where he later explodes into brief but fiery solos. Here at the archives, Andrea has mentioned that this album serves as a forerunner to 'Neapolitan Power' which I think is probably the best two-word description I've heard for the album. If I had to add a few more, I'd mention the jazz-rock feel, but 'Neapolitan Power' sums the album up; and the song ''O Napulitano' so well. It's almost like a more sophisticated and progressive version of a power-ballad, but with a jazz influence. Elsewhere we see Danilo's acoustic work on the long, soul-influenced ballad ''A Zingara' where his playing is more than pleasantly melancholy, and where he works well with the electric violin, provided by guest Antonio Spagnolo.

On opener, the rockier 'Ce Vulesse' we get to hear Lino's voice without too much of a wait, a singer which never fails to lift my spirits. He has a knack for writing vocal melodies that urge the listener to try and sing along, whether you can speak Italian or not. He's just as powerful in the other songs, but especially in ''O Napulitano' where the choruses allow him to really get you humming along.

The title track is a great instrumental, but in second half of the album, the band close with 'Naples in the World' which is the (token?) English vocal track, and while Lino's English gets better with every album, he's so much more powerful and effective in his dialect or in Italian. This closer is a let-down, despite its semi-frantic pace and interlocking instrumentation. Thankfully, while a little overlong perhaps, 'Chiuso qui' just before it, is better. It puts Massimo into a kind of Mason-tempo, only with a good dose of funk, slow as it is, courtesy of the keys and slap bass. Lancellotti is prominent here again, and you'll also hear what is perhaps the most jagged sax on the album, but at the same time, also the most cheesy use of soprano. While the song features a frantic solo from Danilo in the middle section, overall it isn't as on the same level as the opening three and even Lino's impassioned performance begins to wear a little toward the end.

I didn't actually mean for this review to head toward nine-hundred words, so let me try and wrap it up. Don't expect another Palepoli, or even the psychedelic-influences of their debut. That way, if you do buy Suddance, you can judge the album on its own merits. One of my favourite Osanna records, worth a look especially if you're a jazz fan.

Report this review (#633682)
Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In mid-70's occured what was appearing in the horizon, Osanna disbanded for the first time.Rustici and D'Anna went to the UK to form Uno, while Vairetti and Guarino revived their old group CittÓ Frontale.Later Rustici and D'Anna joined Danilo's brother Corrado in the Jazz Rock act Nova that had a good yet short career.Back in Italy Rustici, Vairetti and Guarino made an attempt to reform Osanna with newcomers bassist Enzo Petrone (ex-Moby Dick) and keyboardist Fabrizio D'Angelo, an effort finally resulting to a new studio album in 1978, entitled ''Suddance'' and release on CBS.

As most of the previous acts of the old Osanna members had a more jazzy sound, the new Osanna formation had reasonably enough Jazz and Fusion influences to be regarded as a totally different band.Additionally the new album is almost entirely sung in the Neapolitan dialect.Musically ''Suddance'' swirls around the Jazz Rock and Prog/Fusion realms with keyboards in evidence and little connections with the classic style of the group.Actually Osanna resemble more to bands such as BRAND X than any Classic Italian Prog group.Plenty of synthesizer flights and naughty electric piano passages define the new style of the group.The tracks are also characterized by some nice grooves, fiery interplays and a competitive rhythm section, as a whole the group reminds also a bit of GENTLE GIANT later days.Even Rustici's guitars are delivered either in a jazzy enviroment or in a pure JOHN MCLAUGHLIN more virtuosic style.The later parts of the album contain also some more commercial vibes.Half about of the long ''Chiuso qui'' sounds like Lounge Jazz, while the closing and dreadful ''Naples in the World'', the only track sung in English, sounds like the poorest version of GENTLE GIANT.

This short-lived version of the Italian legends wasn't meant to be and after the new split Danilo Rustici formed the commercial Rock group Luna.Several attempts to revive the group appeared over the years, mainly led by Lino Vairetti, and the albums released contain mostly old reworkings of compositions of the group from the old repertoire.

''Suddance'' is a nice album along the lines of the more Jazz-oriented Prog categories.Demanding, attractive, at moments quirky, but also having a few flaws as a typical product of its release's age.Nevertheless, recommended.

Report this review (#956756)
Posted Friday, May 10, 2013 | Review Permalink

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