Sunday, August 28, 2011

Curved Air - Retrospective - The Anthology 1970-2009 (2CD) [ProgRock ] @320

Today they're known for giving Police drummer Stewart Copeland his start, but Curved Air emerged in the early 1970s as one of England's most distinctive prog-rock bands, led by singer Sonja Kristina, who was promoted as something of a sex symbol at the time. As heard on this career-spanning, two-disc set, their music combined classical and rock flavors, with Darryl Way's violin adding a signature sound, but there was also a bit of a Jefferson Airplane tinge to some of their work that helped set them apart from their peers.

01 - It Happened Today
02 - Screw
03 - Blind Man
04 - Hide And Seek
05 - Rob One
06 - Young Mother
07 - Back Street Luv
08 - Jumbo
09 - Puppets
10 - Piece Of Mind
11 - Whose Shoulder Are You Looking Over Anyway
12 - Melinda (More Or Less)
13 - Over And Above

14 - The Purple Speed Queen
15 - Elfin Boy
16 - Metamorphosis
17 - Easy
18 - The Dancer
19 - Dance Of Love
20 - Love Child
21 - Woman On A One Night Stand
22 - Desiree
23 - Broken Lady
24 - Marie Antoinette
25 - Vivaldi
26 - Lambent Spire
27 - Space In Between
28 - Beloved


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gatto Marte - Gioco del Mago (Italy 2000) [AvantProg] @VBR~224

Gatto Marte are a Italian "progressive chamber quartet", who use violin, basson, piano & double bass. Their records are definitely comparable to folks like Julverne, ZNR, Jean-Philippe Goude's chamber works, etc., so if you are a fan of that style, you will want this.

01. Gioco del Mago
02. Tarantella del Gatto
03. Ladybird Dance
04. Petra
05. Il domatore di leoni
06. Fantasia e cadenza
07. Tone of innocence
08. Gun powder
09. A short story
10. Vorrei Partire
11. Tangata su nave che affonda
12. Fotogramma
13. Transeunte
14. Tango
15. Tarumba

Nino Cotone: Violin
Giuseppe Brancaccio: Bassoon
Maximilian Brooks: Piano, Vocals
Pietro Lusvardi: Contrabass
Guest Musician:
Beppe Ronzoni: Drums, Percussions

Monday, August 22, 2011

Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso - Da Qui Messere Si Domina La Valle (Italy 1991) [ProgRock] @320

This album is not a compilation! The band re-recorded the first 2 albums in studio with new instruments and new arrangements. Fantastic result!

Francesco Di Giacomo writes in CD booklet that he does not like remakes and BANCO decided to re-record their two first albums
because fans asked them ''to do it today''. It seems the easiest way was to play both albums live and make a record, but the band did it in studio. I guess musicians had their reasons for this.
I'm not a big fan of remakes too, but I like new versions of both albums. There are lots of new colours in familiar tunes, first of all due to Vittorio Nocenzi's excellent keyboard work. Rodolfo Maltese is more than competent guitarist, and Francesco Di Giacomo is, as usual, in good vocal form. It became a common place in prog circles to consider him an opera-trained vocalist, but I've read somewhere that he is a self-taught singer. Don't know where the truth is, but anyway he is one of the greatest rock singers of all time. The low point for me is the absence of bass guitar player on the whole record and the use of programmed drums on many tracks. But great music is great music. I love original ''BMS'' and ''Darwin!'' albums to bits, but quite often listen to these new versions.
Highly recommended, but get 1972 originals first.
"Prog Archives"

CD 1 - ''B.M.S'' 1991 version
1. In volo (2:17)
2. R.I.P. (Requiescant in pace) (9:09)
3. Passaggio (4:06)
4. Metamorfosi (13:01)
5. Il Giardino del mago (19:09)
... Passo dopo passo ...
... Chi ride e chi geme ...
... Coi capelli sciolti al vento ...
6. Traccia (2:08)

Total time 49:52

CD 2 - ''Darwin'' 1991 version
1. L'evoluzione (16:46)
2. La conquista della posizione eretta (9:59)
3. Danza dei grandi rettili (4:15)
4. Cento mani e cento occhi (6:03)
5. 750.000 anni fa ... l'amore? (7:53)
6. Miserere alla storia (6:18)
7. Ed ora io domando tempo al tempo (3:23)

Total time 54:40

Francesco Di Giacomo: lead vocals
Vittorio Nocenzi: piano, Hammond organ, minimoog, synthesizers, keyboards, drum programming, synth bass, accordion, clarinet, recorder, vocals, backing vocals
Rodolfo Maltese: electric guitar, mandolin, sitar, backing vocals
Pierluigi Calderoni: drums, percussion

Guest musicians:
Piercarlo Penta: Hammond organ, keyboards, drum programming
Tiziano Ricci: Fabrizio Faderighi
Claudio Rego: backing vocals

Ratings by outbrain