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Toto Torquati

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Toto Torquati Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino album cover
3.56 | 28 ratings | 5 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1:
1. La Terra Che Nessuno Conosce
2. Il Mattino Dopo
3. Dove Il Buio ╚ Signore
4. Tu
5. Adagio Per Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
6. Ges¨ Quel Giorno
Side 2:
1. Presagio
2. Uomo Nasce Fiore Cresce Appassisce E Muore
3. Adagio Per Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino
4. Il Conto Alla Rovescia
5. Era L'Ora Del Tramonto
6. La Terra Che Nessuno Conosce

Line-up / Musicians

- Massino Buzzi / drums
- Michele Jannacone / drums, percussion
- Luciano Ciccaglioni / acoustic and electric guitars
- Mario scotti / bass, Fender fretless bass
- Toto Torquati / Yamaha "Gran Concerto" piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer piano, ARP 2600, Eminent, Celesta
- Gepy & Gepy / vocals
- Nicola Samele / orchestra conductor

Releases information

LP 1973 RCA Italiana DPSL 10573
LP/ CD 1999 Akarma AK 1012
CD2003 BMG 82876544112

Thanks to MANDRAKEROOT for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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TOTO TORQUATI Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TOTO TORQUATI Gli Occhi Di Un Bambino reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Warm, classy Italian keyboard gem

What an interesting find. Here we have an Italian treasure from a session man and keyboard extraordinaire. The album is a strange concoction of orchestral music, prog rock, and pop that might remind you of Rustichelli Bordini or Tower in that you have an accomplished keyboardist dabbling his toes in whatever tickles his fancy. The results were very good despite the potential pitfalls. What is quite notable is the fantastic playing and solid production values; the bass, drums, guitars, keys, and vocals all shimmer with brightness and clarity considering this is 1973 (and the nice cd remaster helps too.)

"La Terra" opens the album with a majestic orchestral introduction. "Il Mattino Dopo" is completely different shifting to an electric guitar riff with some piano coming in followed by a big synth sound. "Dove il Buio e'Signore" begins with some fluid bass alone and some beautiful backing vocals before the warm and rich main vocal begins. Then a great funky section with piano and wistful horns leading to a killer electric guitar solo. The playing is very tight but also with lots of emotion. This is a standout track to be sure. "Tu" begins with solo piano moving from moods of tension to sadness, very nice. Then we get a very soft introspective sounding vocal with piano and e-guitar. Towards the end a huge choir comes in and the vocals surge to a great crescendo before the track ends as it began with solo piano. "Adagio" is a strange one starting slow and changing to sections of breezy pop to a nice dual flute solo. Side one ends with "Gesu Quel Giorno" which features a nice organ intro. Then it gets an almost gospel feel with some nice choirs backing the piano and heartfelt vocal. Side two begins with an introduction called "Presagio" that leads into "Uomo Nasce" which is the longest track and another winner. The first section features energetic strummed clean guitars over a funky rhythm. A second section is completely different with the band replaced by strings. Soon the band comes back for a reprise of the main melody. "Adagio" is a wistful orchestral piece. "Il Conto Alla Rovescia" features spicy keyboard runs and hand percussion. "Era L'ora" is a lovely gentle piano ballad. Suitably we close with the opening "La Terra" orchestrations.

"The Eyes of a Child" is really a remarkably pleasant surprise that will knock the socks off of many Italian fans who seek it out. It is warm, inviting, and easy to enjoy. Recommended to Italian fans, keyboard fans, and fans of prog that incorporates classical and jazz elements. There's a nice BMG gatefold mini-lp sleeve reissue of this one available if you can find it.

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Really good eclectic work.

Toto Torquati offers a great variety of styles here, from strong orchestral movements to more intimate classic piano interludes (as in Tu) to symphonic prog and even to gospel with some gentle funky touches. All the compositions are based upon an optimistic feel around the figure of childhood and the need of protection it deserves.

Despite this is one of the more obscure records from the classic italian prog scene, Gli Occhi di un Bambino is rather well produced and arrenged.

Sometimes it may appear in a similar vein to RUSTICHELLI E BORDINI for the massive use of keyboards: hammond organ, wurlitzer piano, ARP 2600, eminent and celesta. Vocals by Gepy and Gepy are in a similar low pitch but less harsh and more sharp. The general mood of the album is also very different, less adventurous and slightly more pop. Guitar playing is usually tight, nervous at times. Drums are NOT subdued.

I would compare it with RICCARDO COCCIANTE's debut titled MU for those who know him.

Presagio / Uomo Nasce, Fiore Cresce, Appascise, Muore (7:51) is the loger and probably the most exciting track for the aficionados. It's divided in two parts, symphonic prog in the first part then another majestic orchestral movement until the main theme returns.

3.5 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Antonio Torquati was a blind-born Italian keyboardist with many collaborations throughout his career both in Jazz and Pop music, most notably with Bill Coleman, Billy Smith, Lucio Dalla, Gianni Morandi, Mina, and Gepy & Gepy.In 1972 he released a self-titled keyboard-based debut, followed a year after by ''Gli Occhi di un Bambino'' on RCA label.

With participations among others from bassist Mario Scotti from Quel Giorno di Uve Rosse, drummer Massimo Buzzi of Pierrot Lunaire fame and also Gepy & Gepy on vocals, Torquati had the opportunity to show his nice skills on composing and arranging.His style was quite diverse, mainly being in an orchestral mood with a fair dose of Classical influences but occasionally stepping into Soul, Fusion, Blues and Pop fields.The mix is pretty outstanding and the album is surprisingly coherent despite the exploration of unsimilar music paths.''Gli Occhi di un Bambino'' includes all of these elements to satisfy a demanding listener: impressive musicianship, catchy grooves, romantic instrumentals and changing climates.Without being complicated, the tracks are intricate and varied.From LE ORME smooth piano-led prog ballads to Orchestral Pop/Prog vocal-based numbers and from light guitar-driven Fusion to organ/moog-smashed parts, the album has this captivating vintage feeling and a good tightness to be greatly appreciated.

Torquati suddenly disappeared after this album, recording only a single in 1977 and composing the music for the ''Speed Cross'' film (1980).More recently, in 2007 he returned with a brand new solo album entitled '' Vita, amore e musica''.

Torquati's ''Gli Occhi di un Bambino'' is a release rather far from the Classic Italian Prog sound, but again it is an effort with a sound of its own.Artistic, attractive and at moments, this album is a great addition for fans of flexible Progressive/Art Rock.An easy purchase, as the album has been re-issued in CD format several times...3.5 stars.

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars In the eyes of a child

I have been enjoying this album during my daily commute the past couple of weeks. The intimacy it holds - the far reaching musical themes, as well as that infinitely warm and luscious Italian feel that literally exudes from this album. If anything, the music you'll find hiding underneath that innocent child's face - is one of deep emotive power, and never does it become saccharine or over the top. It's skilfully orchestrated right down to it's inner layers, and when you start to peel away the individual skins of this marvellous musical onion, you find a lot of spice and ornamentations that help this venture attain it's natural and soulful magic.

As other reviewers here have mentioned, Toto Torquati is a keys man who since birth has been without the gift of sight. Now don't let that fool you, because people who can't see are usually anything but blind, even if we seers of 'truth' and trees and sunsets proclaim that. Blind is something that comes from being purposefully naive, vengeful, spiteful or just deliberately mean. People who can't use their eyes are often the ones that see things the way they are - maybe because the world usually comes up with eye- candy traps and all the things that make you deviate from the 'righteous' path. Anyway that's my take on it after spending over 20 years in a loving relationship with Stevie Wonder's Innervisions....

Toto here plays a mean piano - in fact he plays every tangent fuelled instrument unbelievably well. He often reminds me of a smoother and friendlier Keith Emerson. The way he jumps from theme to theme is a thing of beauty, and if you've ever watched butter dissolve in a hot pan, you'll know the feeling of this man's playing. He can be forceful as well - relegating big booming segments of musical theatre and still, he keeps things nice and fluid - and he never feels staccato or hesitant of what comes next - a trade that thankfully shines through in all of this man's facets. Synths, organ, keys or piano.

Apart from the RPI flavour of the occasional acoustic guitars and the melodic piano melodies that more than often point a finger or two back to the old celebrated Verdi, I sense a distinct fusion groove as well. To be more clear, the sparingly used synthesisers give off a vibe that wouldn't feel out of place on a Caravan album from around the same time. This is where the music can get a little quirky and fun, although it never really gets humorous. You'll get mantraing piano chords with a jazzy beat underneath them - and then those laser beam synths trashing through in the most remarkable way. Just like Sinclair's magical touch, on here the result is somewhat identical - bringing with it a sparkling vivacious kick to the music. It's as if everything jumps up a gear or two.

Now take everything I just said about the synths and apply it to the guitar. Swoop! You've got yet another conveyor of melodic soloing. Just like I said before, there is indeed a Canterburian feel to these scoops of sound, and like any other means of transportation, you'll certainly feel invigorated and deeply alive during these stints - like sticking your head out of car window when you're doing a 150 on the free- way........ Wind in your hair, yeah that sounds right. Wind in your hair.

Allright, we have RPI and Canterbury covered - oh did I forget to mention the symphony orchestra that very tastefully paints the missing pieces within the music in a deep crimson red? Scores of violins and cellos that breathe air into the album - like a thousand hot air balloons setting off inside your living room. These are powerful breaks, and you actually get hit with them immediately in a refined and elegant manner. Folks like myself, that is laymen, will probably call this opening piece an ouverture. A piece of indefinable measure that warns you of what's to come, although on here these gentle sweeps of orchestral sound find you at ease and comfortably in check. One could argue that the docile behaviour of the start seems strangely unfitting of an album that weaves in and out of fusion and rock templates, but I do find it to be extremely necessary. Just like the following symphonic stints where the heavens open up and the violins sing, it helps the album fluctuate between darkness and light. It adds to the album a natural dynamic range, that would have the lads from Rush running straight home to their mommies.

All in all the music at hand gives hope to all you people with an affinity for the melodic and huge. More than once did I think of the Portuguese Jose Cid - in part for the occasional meaty Springsteen vocals, but more importantly for this album's cunning way of knitting the different puzzle-pieces together to form a whole of unlikely sizes. I really love this album, and it is breathtaking proof of just how imminent and imaginative this scene was back in the day, - and you certainly don't need your eyesight to see that...

Latest members reviews

4 stars The Stevie Wonder of Italy! . well, sort of Sitting down to give an album that first attentive listen, you never know what to expect, especially one as overlooked as this. Sometimes an album goes unnoticed for good reason, and sometimes an album is just unwelcoming or difficult to grasp, k ... (read more)

Report this review (#179587) | Posted by jimmy_row | Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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