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Feat. Esserelà picture
Feat. Esserelà biography
Founded in Bologna, Italy in 2009

FEAT. ESSERELÀ is an instrumental trio from Bologna, formed in 2009 by longtime friends Francesco CIAMPOLINI (keyboards), Renato MINGUZZI (guitar) and Lorenzo MUGGIA (drums). Their distinctive name comes from a weird puppet (the Esserelà, "that creature up there") hanging from the ceiling of their rehearsal space, which they consider as their frontman, and therefore always accompanies them on stage.

The band's debut album, "Tuorl", released in February 2015 on Joe Frassino Records (a subsidiary of Lizard Records), is the result of two years of work. Very active on the live front in their home region and in other parts of Italy, Feat. Esserelà blend the classic jazz-rock sound with an eclectic bent and a genuinely fun-loving attitude.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)

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3.98 | 7 ratings
4.09 | 3 ratings
Disco Dooro

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Disco Dooro by FEAT. ESSERELÀ album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.09 | 3 ratings

Disco Dooro
Feat. Esserelà Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars The odd name of the band called "Feat. Esserela" comes from the name the band gives to a puppet (Esserela which means "that creature up there") that hangs from the rafters in where the band rehearses. They lovingly dubbed it their frontman and it is always on stage with them. This band from Bologna, Italy is a jazz/rock fusion band that has a humorous edge to their sound. They released a debut album in 2015, and then released a 2nd album in June of 2019 called "Disco Dooro".

The core line up of the band has remained the same: Renato Minguzzi on guitars and backing vocals; Francesco Ciampolini on keyboards, piano, synths, fretless bass, vocals; and Lorenzo Muggia on drums, drum machines, various gadgets and vocals. Several other guests appear on this album which include 2 sax players, a trumpeter and 3 sectional vocalists. On Disco Dooro, there are 11 tracks which have a total run time of 53 minutes, but the tracks vary widely in their timing with durations from as little as 4 seconds to nearly 9 minutes.

It all begins with "Lauto Grill", which features several layers of processed vocals with a quirky and celebratory attitude and some auto percussion. This goes on for a little over a minute and then slips into "Kajetiemeco" (Ethnicity), which really establishes their progressive jazz fusion instrumental music, complex, tricky meters and a nice vibrant sound. The track is mostly driven by guitar improvisation and great support from keys drums and bass and some quirky progressive riffs. A sudden shift in direction comes a long after 4 minutes when the rhythm smooths out becoming more automatic and the tone much lighter and jazz like. The feel is a more funky style with a wink at The Who's "Eminence Front" with a similar groove.

"Servi della Klepa" starts with a piano-led jazz style with a guitar taking over at times. This has a lighter touch to it, but still remains a bit quirky with changing tempos and meters. It settles into a bouncy beat from time to time as the piano and guitar drive things forward, but never rests too long in any one single pattern, but often returning to a main theme in several variations. "Sahara?" features an odd synth melody supported by drums and a strange guitar effect underneath everything. Things intensify as the guitar stirs things up a bit, and then it slips into a quirky rhythm. A lot happens in just a few minutes, but this track sets things up for the next track "...Svegliati è Primavehera" which I think is a regional dialect meaning "Wake Up, It's Sping". The sound continues on the synth lead established from the previous track, but this is shared with the guitar, many times they play the same complex melody note for note, a technique used by Frank Zappa many times to show that the music isn't always improvised, but complex and structured. Again, a new shift in direction comes along at about 4 minutes as the music becomes more steady, slows down, and then presents the tracks themes in a new light, but again, the music never settles into any singular style or sound for too long. It continues to wander around the themes and presenting them in new ways, playing around with them everyway they can.

The short track "La Nascita di Lodovico Svarchi" is just a humorous 24 second track with odd vocal and instrumental sounds. After this is the longest track at almost nine minues, a nice, smooth jazz piece called "Lodovico Svarchi" (notice the connection in the title of the previous track which is "The Birth of" the titular character). After a few minutes, things become more complex and there is an addition of the brass instruments to the overall sound. "Popoloto" is a bit heavier beginning with a solid beat and riff. Of course, tempos and meters continue to shift, playing with different melodies, but the guitar and organ maintain that heavier sound. Later, the piano takes the place of the organ as it plays a complex pattern supported by guitar. This is followed with "La Fine di (The end of) Lodovico Svarchi" which is the quick 4 second track which is simply a short chord involving the band.

Next comes "[?]aio" which continues in the quirky jazz/rock fusion the band is best at. The guitar plays a fast improvised solo as the rest of the band sneak around underneath it and then build and build to a rousing climax. Next, a fuzzy synth plays a bass line by itself and then the drums and guitar play progressive riffs to bring in a darker section. Again, things quickly change, the tempo speeds up and a synth does a solo flying all around the solid, yet quirky rhythm. It all returns to the main theme again at the end. The last track is called "Intro (by Intronyo)". There is some spoken vocals in Bosnian at the beginning before the instruments quickly take over building up a tense lead in to another quirky exchange led by guitar and organ. This goes on until just after two minutes, and then ends. There is silence until the last 30 seconds when you hear someone speaking in Italian with fair ground music behind them.

The music here is fun, quirky, heavy, complex and interesting, never stagnant, and the tracks all feature distinct and well developed melodies that get a lot of exposure in the tracks, but they are always changed and played around with creating some amazing variations, making the music always new and exciting. The music is vibrant most of the way through, though there are some darker passages from time to time. The music never settles into any particular vibe for too long, except in a few cases, but you never have to worry about getting bored at any time. The music is similar to Henry Cow or Frank Zappa at times, but the overall sound is quite unique. Lovers of complex progressive jazz fusion, mostly instrumental, will love this album.

 Tuorl by FEAT. ESSERELÀ album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 7 ratings

Feat. Esserelà Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Progressive rock and jazz/fusion related music is frequently deadly serious and overloaded with clinical stuffy playing, right? Not the case at all with Italian instrumental band Feat.EsserelĂ , and yes, that's actually the confusing band name! `EsserelĂ ' refers to a puppet that resides in the rehearsal room of the band and accompanies them on stage for live performances, and this is an early indication of the sly humour this trio apply to their music! In addition to the goofy cover art and cute cartoon illustrations throughout the CD booklet, it's pretty obvious that they don't take themselves too seriously, although they still display the expected skilful and enviable musicianship. Their debut album `Tuorl' offers plenty of jazz/fusion flair by way of snappy drumming, fiery electric guitar runs, an array of keyboard colour and that warmest of piano that Italian musicians play so beautifully, and it might just be one of the most energetic, lively and fun albums of 2015!

Much of the album is made up of shorter punchy pieces full of energy. Of some of the highlights, manic spastic bursts of Francesco Ciampolini's delirious Hammond organ, Renato Minguzzi's scorching guitar and Lorenzo Muggias's thrashing drumming tear through the amusingly titled opener `Don't Leave Your Dinosauri at Home'. There's plenty of thrashing guts to `Anche Cotoletta', and the foot-tapping beat and singing Hammond throughout `Il Nostra...' holds a Caravan-like playfulness before some smoking hot wailing guitar soloing. Both `What a (Tetra) Pack' and, with its sprightly piano, `Canguros...' could almost be lighter moments off the Seventies Focus albums, and `Symbols' is a grunting groover that almost breaks out disco beats.

But it's the longer pieces that really hint at what the band can do. Although the transitions in the three part `S.R.L.A' aren't too smooth, the piece begins as a drifting distorted guitar drone, crashes into a gutsy guitar drive and closes on a soothing piano finale. Despite all the movement and frenetic diversions elsewhere on the disc, it's when the band settles down a little and offers something a bit more emotional and moving that they really impress. Running over eight minutes, `No ( )' allows plenty of build and controlled flights of jazzy instrumental moods, jumping back and forth between hot guitar runs and piano that's breezy and dazzling, and when called on, Ciampolini displays classy restraint and intelligent thoughtfulness. The peppy ending closes on a surprising quirky Gentle Giant-like bounciness! Breezy late-night piano vibes stroll through `Un Duettrè' Qqua' before laid-back guitar cruises alongside it, another standout moment on a great disc.

Admittedly eleven tracks is probably a bit too many, with occasional repetition creeping in here and there, and some of the shorter pieces would benefit from being developed more and extended rather than being overloaded with little ideas thrown together in the future. But the skill with which so many rapid changes of direction are delivered by the band is stunning, even more impressive considering it's a debut album, and their music in infectious, full of life and spontaneity. Feat.EsserelĂ  are definitely a talented Italian band to keep an eye on in the future, so please investigate this tireless and playful album!

Four stars.

 Tuorl by FEAT. ESSERELÀ album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 7 ratings

Feat. Esserelà Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Feat.Esserel' began life in Bologna in 2009 on the initiative of Francesco Ciampolini (keyboards), Renato Minguzzi (guitar) and Lorenzo Muggia (drums), three friends in love with vintage sounds, progressive rock, jazz, fusion, funk and many more. According to their website, the name of the band refers to an old dummy lying in their rehearsal room that they used to call, quite unceremoniously, just quell'esserel' (that creature over there). As time passed by, they began to bring the old dummy on stage as a prop meant to add humour and colour to their live performances and they began to introduce it as their frontman. After years of fun, hard work and a good live activity on the local scene, in 2015 the band released an interesting debut album on the independent label Joe Frassino Records, distributed in collaboration with Lizard Records.

The album title, "Tuorl", and the art cover by Michele Tomasini recall a living yolk, a kind of nucleus of vital energy in fieri, but you don't have to take too seriously this concept. In fact, what prevails in this completely instrumental work is a strong fun-loving attitude that is also mirrored by the ironic, non sense titles of the eleven tracks and by the funny pictures and drawings that you can find in the booklet. The sparkling opener "Don't leave your dinosauri at home" sets the atmosphere with its frenzied rhythm and seventies influences, followed, in the same vein, by "Anche cotoletta" (Some cutlet as well), "Il nostro batterista ha un buco nella gamba" (Our drummer has hole in the leg) and "Canguros de la ventana" (Kangaroos at the window). In my opinion, these pieces could form a perfect score for an old Italian poliziottesco film full of car chases and breathtaking rides through the streets of Milan or Rome...

On "S.r.l.'" the rhythm calms down for a while, the atmosphere becomes darker, almost spacey, then the music takes off again towards new heights and horizons. The following "No ( )" is longer, more complex but never boring. In the booklet the band thank artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Stefano Bollani and Claude Debussy for the inspiration of these last two tracks but in my opinion the band's songwriting is brilliant and personal and I think that they fully succeeded in mixing different influences into a new, tasteful brew.

"/'\ \'/ /'\ \'/ /'\ \'/" starts with a weird funky rhythm, then evolves into something else through psychedelic rides and sudden changes of mood. The following "What a (tetra) pack" is lively and brisk and leads to the more complex "Un duettr' qqua" and "Stichituffelpa rampa esserel' tum perugi'", two excellent tracks driving you through a colourful maze of sounds and colours. The funny live atmosphere of "Loop o' pool" and a short hidden track a cappella end this interesting album. If you like bands such as Calibro 35, La Batteria or Accordo dei Contrari, check it out!

Thanks to Raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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