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PHOENIX

Zauber

Prog Folk


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Zauber Phoenix album cover
2.89 | 20 ratings | 4 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Est (4:26)
2. Antares (3:52)
3. Dalla finestra (6:43)
4. Invito (4:44)
5. Adagio (2:30)
6. Uomo (6:05)
7. Antaras (3:26)
8. Sogni (3:51)
9. Il povero Piero (4:30)

Total time 40:11

Line-up / Musicians

ZAUBER 1977 (tracks 2 - 8):
- Paolo Clari / organs, electric piano (3, 4), synthesizers
- Mauro Cavagliato / bass, guitars, mellotron (6), synthesizer (6), el. vibes
- Liliana Bodini / vocals
- Claudio Bianco / Polymoog (2), eminent, chimes
- Anna Galliano / flute, harpsicord

Guest musicians:
- Oscar Giordanino / synth solo (3), el. piano, clavinet, el. harpsicord
- Ettore Grattino / drums
- Boris Poziakov / clarinet


ZAUBER 1991 (tracks 1, 9):
- Liliana Bodini / glockenspiel
- Massimo Cavagliato / drums
- Mauro Cavagliato / bass, glockenspiel
- Oscar Giordanino / keyboards

Releases information

Recorded in 1977 except tracks 1 and 9 (recorded in 1991)
CD Drums/Kaliphonia EDC 2256 (1992)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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ZAUBER Phoenix ratings distribution


2.89
(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
10%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (40%)
40%
Collectors/fans only (15%)
15%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

ZAUBER Phoenix reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In 1977 ZAUBER recorded an album to be named "Phoenix" but never got the opportunity to release it until some 15 years later. ZAUBER play a highly involved progressive rock with stong allusions to that of ELP while maintaining a highly original and classic Italian influence. One of the most immediately recognizable "Zauber'isms" is the voice of Liliana Bodini who brings a new dimension forward in their music (she has a great voice). Instumentation is varied with flute, moog, mellotron, electric piano, triangle, organ etc. Songs are performed with high instumentation skill and is truely a wonderful little album. Album also contains 2 bonus songs recorded in 1991 to mark the re-formation of ZAUBER.
Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars This got its first release in 91. Knowing the desert prog landscape of the end of the 80's, this must've felt like an oasis when this came out. Some friends were telling me to check this out for more than ten years before I finally got around to it.

I am generally wary of so-called albums recorded in an era but released much later. How the original tapes have been tampered with or re-recorded/overdubbed etc... Nothing immediately apparent here , this album staying close to the style developped on Il Sogno (their only release in that decade and up to 500 copies distributed - the vinyl must go for a fortune).

We are dealing with an ultra-symphonic prog , pleasing very much neo-progheads , along the lines of Renaissance (circa Novella) , but slightly more interesting than BJH but lacking energy much like Il Sogno. This is why I think that the tapes were not tampered with.

Relatively irrelevant historically , pleasant to the non-demanding proghead, probably irritatingly boring for the adventuresome proghead, but what a fantastic sleeve artwork.

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
2 stars Well once more I get to use the phrase “underwhelmed”. In this case that feeling is ascribed to this early nineties release of some studio tracks originally recorded in the mid-seventies when Zauber were still an active band. The reason I believe was the reformation of the band around 1990, and they released another album of early recordings (‘Est’) shortly after this one. There’s yet another titled ‘Aliens’ that appears to be similar; I don’t know much about that one but it has the markings of also being a rehashing of stuff the group couldn’t get released when it was first recorded in the seventies. Their only actual release back then was the decent and more folksy ‘Il Sogno’, but this album is only mildly in that same vein. Most of the members of Zauber also recorded a couple of albums under the name Clarion in the mid-nineties, presumably named after keyboardist/guitarist Paolo Clari who played in Zauber and is given most of the artistic credits for the Clarion albums.

The only justification I can hear for calling this a progressive folk band are the vocals of Liliana Bodini, who also plays guitar and some percussion here (triangles and such). She has a fairly comfortable folk voice but lacks much range and at times sounds more like a lounge-act singer thanks mostly to the slightly cheesy organ and electric piano arrangements. Otherwise I would call these guys something closer to contemporary adult or even easy-listening music but with the added twist of mellotron and lots of keyboards.

None of the compositions are very complex or original though, and after a while the overall sound borders on being slightly insipid. I like the flute passages, but frankly there’s been precious little flute music I’ve ever heard that wasn’t appealing on at least some level, so that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. And like most Latin music the acoustic guitar work is expressive, though in this case also quite placid which is great for transitions or short interludes but gets a bit boring nearly forty minutes on in an album.

Like I said the electric piano tends to be a bit cheesy and over-the-top at times, particularly on the almost nightclub-jazz sounding long instrumental part of “Uomo” and the slow, requiem-like “Dalla Finestra”, which are also the two longest tracks on the album.

There’s not really a highlight here, and for the most part the album is quite consistent musically – it’s just that it’s consistently unexceptional. The only other album of Zauber’s that I’ve heard is ‘Il Sogno’, and while that one isn’t an essential classic or anything either, I would recommend it over this one for anyone wanting to discover the band. Maybe I’ll try and hunt down some of those Clarion albums to see if they are any better. Two stars for this one though (despite the excellent artwork).

peace

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ZAUBER is one of the less known bands of the 70's Italian Prog movement,formed in mid- 70's in Turin by female singer/guitarist Liliana Bodini and bassist/guitarist Mauro Cavagliato.The band released only one self-titled album close to the likes of RPI in 1978,which was later re-issued by Vinly Magic under the title ''Il sogno''.The biggest surprise though came in 1992,when Mellow Records released a new CD entitled ''Phoenix'',the content of which was some 1977 recordings of the band,presenting their early phase.

STYLE: While categorized under the Prog Folk category,the early sound of ZAUBER was definitely Symphonic/Classical Prog Rock,strongly driven by the keyboards of Paolo Clari (later to form the band CLARION).Floating synths,classical piano and dominant organ are all over the place.As for guitars,do not expect much,except some acoustic dreamy passages. However the general atmosphere is not boring at all with the very strong bass work of Mauro Cavagliato being also responsible for that.Lots of nice classical interludes,a few smooth flute work and a good amount of instrumental work give you the overall picture.Last but not least comes Liliana Bodini.While she hasn't any remarkable voice,her vocals are smooth,clear and dreamy,a great support for the instrumental material.

SOUNDS LIKE: I would set ZAUBER's sound somewhere between LE ORME's strong keyboard-based Classical Prog and some GOBLIN's organ-driven slow parts.A good combination.

PLUS: As the album is so heavily based on keys,it would be succesful if the keyboard work is at least decent...and yes,it is.Plenty of beautiful varied passages with use of organ,piano,harpsichord and synths and fine alternation of styles between virtuosic solos,organ-led passages and classical-inspired interlusdes.Female vocals are quite nice as well.A solid rhythm section.

MINUS: Almost total absence of guitars.Very mediocre sound of the recordings.Not the most original band around.

WILL APPEAL TO:... fans of Italian Prog,keyboard-driven prog and Symphonic Rock.

CONCLUSION: ''Phoenix'' could have easily been part of the band's official discography.It is melodic,dreamy,romantic and dark at the same time.Yet it leaves the listener with a feeling that there is a missing piece in the puzzle.Very enjoyable in general with great emotional changes.Strongly recommended,3.5 stars.

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