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Latte E Miele - Papillon CD (album) cover

PAPILLON

Latte E Miele

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.57 | 106 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I'm one of those who feel more impressed by Latte e Miele's sophomore album "Papillon" than by the debut effort "Passio Secundum Matheo", as much as I enjoy listening to the latter, every now and then in my Italian prog rediscovering personal ages. "Papillon" finds the trio stating a more polished handling of the various sections comprised in the album's longest opuses: the namesake suite and 'Patetica'. The 'Ouverture' is a sort of Emersonesque show-off of powerful organ-driven cadences efficiently framed by the rhythm duo, leading to a 'Primo Quadro' that alternates soft Baroque and ELP-style jazz. The 'Secondo Quatro' has a more epic feel to it, while the 'Terzo Quadro' states a romantic mood with a somewhat powerful orchestral backup. While the firs two 'Quadros' were introduced by pastoral friendly sung portions, 'Terzo Quadro' bears a more expanded vocal intervention. 'Quarto Quadro' alternates between eerie symphonic keyboard layers and Mahavishnu-like jams: both sources are short, so the resulting alternation is only 2'50" long. 'Quinto Quadro' has a surreal tranquility that may remind us of Il Pase dei Ballocchi, while 'Sesto Quadro' bears a cinematographic ambience through a compact linkage of sung and instrumental portions, eventually leading to the enthusiastic albeit too brief coda entitled 'Settimo Quadro'. 'Divertimento' is an exersice on symphonic prog cleverly alternated with jazz cadences. The album's second half starts with the 3-part 'Patetica'. 'Prima Parte' starts with a delicious set of piano motifs, and then the whole trio settles in to deliver an agile medley of classical music sections (Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, all of them quoted in true prog rock fashion). 'Seconda Parte' kicks off with a wicked elaboration of the first third from Vivaldi's "Spring", one of Italy's most celebrated chamber pieces. Once the guest violin soloist indulges in some dissonant flows, the stage is set for the eventual irruption of the Latte e Miele guys, headlong for a solid exercise on keyboard- based power trio sort of sound The organ progressions, clavinet chords and synth lines lead the way for the track's melodic development, with bassist Dellacasa and drummer Vitanza serving as effective providers of the framework. The latter plays a very vibrant drum solo somewhere in the middle, after which the band feels more inspired to pursue an enhancement of the jazz factor. The third part ('Terza Parte') turns to pastoral moods, with soft chanting, warm acoustic guitar strumming and eerie synth layers filling the air: some Tchaikovsky quotations already used before reappear in the middle of the synth ornaments, and later on, in the input by the guest bassoonist. This is where the climax starts to build up all the way until the closing phrases, with the orchestral back-up managing to increase the colorfulness gradually for good effect. The album's last track 'Strutture' is yet another exploration on jazzy grounds, taken to a further level than ever before on the album. Perhaps compensating for the overall symphonic drive of Patetica's 'Terza Parte'? I don't know, but 'Strutture' is a very nice tune, which gives Dellacasa room to show his guitar skills besides his more usual role on bass. The bonus track 'Tanto Amore' is an exhibition of love as a pop music motto: San Remo material with a touch of mid 70s Eurovision. Well, the composition is quite nice and well constructed, but the overall scheme is mostly a pop venture that isn't really proof of the sort of creativity that had been revealed in the album's official tracklist. "Papillon" is my favorite Latte e Miele release.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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