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Giannotti The Great Unknown album cover
4.02 | 10 ratings | 2 reviews | 30% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intentions / Letting Go (8:44)
2. Voyage (8:20)
3. Dance of the Gnome (6:13)
4. The Great Unknown (11:57)
5. Sacred Ground (8:45)
6. Corridor of Doors (5:29)
7. A World Away (8:19)

Total Time 57:47

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Giannotti / Guitar, Flute, Bass, Keyboards, Drums
- George Clini / Drums
- Mike Soldan / Drums, Piano
- Nicole Tanner / Vocals
- Natalie Tanner / Vocals
- Jack Tanner / Vocals
- Ryan Graveline / Vocals
- Collin Graveline / Vocals

Releases information

CD CD Baby (2014)

Thanks to Roland113 for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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GIANNOTTI The Great Unknown ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

GIANNOTTI The Great Unknown reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Well, this "Great Unknown" would have remained such, had it not been for the intervention of my esteemed friend and colleague Jean "The Cat" Roby, a gentleman of impeccable credentials in both prog music and literature, with whom I exchange intense long distance as well as face to face encounters. We also enjoy discussing our latest sonic discoveries as well as sourcing current events, politics, religion and the still sorry state of humankind. He briskly suggested I hunt down this unknown pearl, thinking I just might like the sucker. Well, Jean, you were wrong, I absolutely love it. Robert Giannotti is not some RPI maestro toiling in one of Italy's many gorgeous towns but rather an accomplished American multi-instrumentalist who once worked with the semi-obscure Jasper Wrath. While he performs masterfully on vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, his limpid flute work really pushes his craft over the top, adorning the languid compositions with breathtaking excursions that immediately appeal to the highest senses. Jean suggested parallels with another magnificent American musician that I have enjoyed and reviewed in the past, David Minasian. So I took the plunge.

This is a phenomenal album, released in 2014 to little or no critical comment, which is a sad state of affairs, as this just may be one of the craftiest US-based prog releases in recent years. An expressive album cover with adventurous artwork really makes the grade, and the music inside is squarely in the symphonic mold, sublimely atmospheric but also quite pulsating, propulsive and at times, pugnacious. An hour's worth of exciting music, expertly carved, refined and polished and ultimately after a few spins, utterly convincing! The one thing that really stands out beyond the intricate instrumental work is the sheer quality of the melodies, richly resonant, wholly overwhelming and fully integrated into the arrangements, the work of a mature mind creating symphonic prog of the finest pedigree.

"Intentions/Letting Go" set the windswept sails forward, with a splashing display of blistering electric guitar as the rudder carves deep into the densely orchestral waves. Classical violins meeting electricity is always a delight especially when done with such aplomb, the perfect set up for the plaintive lead vocal from Robert Giannotti and an overall, exciting introduction to this thrilling hour long effort. Drummer George Clini drives the arrangement forward with masterful pace. The mid-tempo strains really shine luminously on the epic 8 minute "Voyage", a potent confluence of acoustic guitars and flute, blended with screaming electric guitar contemplation, tight rhythmic support and heavenly vocals, Robert adding a Justin Hayward-like gleam over the sonic crests to wondrous effects, blazing mellotron voices in the background. The acoustic guitar-led "Dance of the Gnome" has an early John Barleycorn Must Die feel to it, before deviating into a flute ramble that winks at a distant Ian Anderson, rotund bass notes notwithstanding. A wonderful pastoral and bucolic intermezzo of the highest order until mid-way through, when it blooms into this thunderous axe expedition, sounding like Martin Barre had just showed up unforeseen. Tremendous piece. Things just get even more delirious with the title track, a nearly 12 minute colossus of intensity, flair and breath. A brooding, rhythmically challenging introduction sets the stage for an inspired vocal, intricately weaving the story. Chunky symphonics provide a deep and adhesive foundation on which to perform a variety of moods, accompanied by heavy drums pounding a la Jerry Marotta, the dreamy voice both sullen and urgent. Robert peels off a few sulfurous axe licks thus adding even more fuel to the raging inferno. Ornate piano from guest Michael Soldan greets the listener on "Sacred Ground", profoundly melancholic and intense, elegantly enhancing a rapturous melody. Sweet guitar strains evolved into a blistering electric solo, trembling with overt fluidity as the obese bass wobbles underneath, undeterred. The magical flute adds its two cents worth, fluctuating wildly like some meandering torrent of sound. But it's the "Here now, upon this Sacred Ground" chorus that seeps deep into the recesses of the sonic cranium. The spooky "Corridor of Doors" is perhaps my favorite track, a threatening diversion of effects, nuances and outright pleasure that ensures a sense of confusion, adventure and enigma. Echoing acoustic picking, strings in the forefront and a weaving flute dancing in the moonlit night, this is a highly addictive and perplexing piece, especially when the Gregorian chants kicks in, amid the cannonading drum beats. The highlighted mood is traversed by some epic acoustic guitar work and a wall of choral sighs, a truly unique sense of drama and urgency leap to attention. Phenomenal. The disc ends with "A World Away", another tightly woven mini-symphony, this time incorporating a series of backing vocalists and a female lead (Nicole Tanner) depicting a story relating to the age of wisdom, where one can hear the minstrel play. Acoustic guitar and flute dominate but it's the mandola that takes center stage, a delightful solo that possesses a distinct Mediterranean feel.

All in all, this opus represents one of those typical, 'under the radar' jewels that we fans constantly forage for, rewarding our passionate hunt with the wondrous sense of discovery and contentment. No problem, 5 massive mysteries

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars US project GIANNOTTI is the creative vehicle of Robert Giannotti, a composer and musician with a distant past as a member of progressive rock band Jasper Wraith, and while Giannotti himself decided to focus on other areas of life some decades back he did reappear occasionally as a contributor to some of Jeff Cannata's ventures over the years. "The Great Unknown" marks Gianotti's return to the music scene in a more marked manner, and was released through Northford Pines Music, which is his own label (most likely).

US composer and musician Giannotti has created an ambitious first venture out as a solo artist, exploring a blend of acoustic rock, traditional folk music and classical music within what merits a description as a progressive rock general context. The compositions appear to hone in on qualities such as mesmerizing, dream-laden and atmospheric, with harmonies, melody and the arrangements themselves being more important than the individual instruments. Certain aspects of mix and production leave something to be desired though, so those sensitive to such issues should approach this album with some caution. Other than that, this should be a fine album to get familiar with if progressive rock of this general nature is something you tend to enjoy.

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