June 25, 2019

Art Zoyd ‎– 44½ : Live + Unreleased Works/ CD1- Berlin, Live In West Berlin, The Loft (April 1986)

Berlin, Live In West Berlin, The Loft (April 1986)
CD1-1     Epithalame  (19:33)
CD1-2     Horses (Unreleased)  (11:53)
CD1-3     Klapzz (Unreleased)  (04:48)
CD1-4     Petite Messe À L'usage Des Pharmaciens - Offertoire  (03:12)
CD1-5     Petite Messe À L'usage Des Pharmaciens - Kyrie  (02:17)
CD1-6     Unsex Me Here  (03:37)
CD1-7     Mouvance 1  (05:39)
CD1-8     A Drum A Drum  (22:34)

to be continued

June 22, 2019

Mario Barbaja ‎– Made In Hong Kong (1978, LP, Italy)

Lato A

Lato B

Mario Barbaja: Arrangiamenti/ synthesizer/ percussioni/ chitarra elettrica
Claudio Bazzari: chitarra elettrica
Flaviano Cuffari: batteria/ percussioni
Paolo Donnarumma: basso elettrico
Raffaella "Lella" Esposito: coro
Naimy Hackett: coro
Marva Jan Marrow: coro
Andrea Paravicini: vibrafono, tastiere

Mario Barbaja (real name Barbaglia) is a little known artist based in Milan, whose early works have much in common with another singer-songwriter that released his main albums on Ariston, Claudio Rocchi.

Like Rocchi's first album, Barbaja's debut, Argento, is a mainly acoustic work, based on guitar with some flute, sitar and percussion, in a sort of eastern-influenced psych/folk style.

Second album, Megh, has more intense arrangements closer to rock, and is usually considered his best LP. It featured many well-known session musicians, among which guitarist Ricky Belloni from Nuova Idea and his brother Gigi on bass, Eugenio Finardi, Alberto Camerini and Lucio Fabbri (both also with Finardi, the latter was then in PFM), drummers Tullio De Piscopo (with New Trolls Atomic System and later one of the most important Italian session drummers) and Pasquale Venditto from Forum Livii and Ibis, and even a guest appearance by Stormy Six leader Franco Fabbri. With the latest group Barbaja had also collaborated writing Sotto il bambù, released on single in the same year.

Later albums from 1975 and 1978 were on a lower level and more commercial-styled.
After the retirement from his musical career Barbaglia dedicated to his work as architect and designer. (italianprog)

Amaia Zubiria + Pascal Gaigne ‎– Egun Argi Hartan (1985, LP, Spain)

A genius composer, Pascal Gaigne, who connects Basque's spiritual climate and contemporary acoustic experiments. The first 85 years of activity announced with Amaia Zubiria, a Basque name folk band Haizea. A series of minimal fluttering electronic sounds, deep indigo songs, accompanied by the insightful breathing of saxophonist Michel Doneda who has a deep connection with the Basque scene, awakening a silently swirling space Includes a song "Itxasoan Laino Dago", one of the best songs to be released. A total of nine super first-class spiritual music that shakes the bottom of the soul. This spiritual mixture sense that intrigues both indigenous and avant-garde is linked to the Madrid-based super-acoustic group, which is led by Suso Saiz and others. Great masterpiece! (She Ye, Ye)

Donatello ‎– Il Tempo Degli Dei (1975, LP, Italy)

1. La Natura Sta Dentro Di Me (4:06)
2. Un Muro Di Pietra (2:47)
3. Erano I Tempi Degli Dei (3:57)
4. E' La Guerra (3:57)
5. Il Passato Se Ne Va (3:35)
1. Michelle (Tu Te Ne Vai) (3:35)
2. In Quel Villaggio (3:50)
3. Uomo Di Citta' (5:05)
4. Sogno (3:24)

Rossana Casale, Tanino Castellani: Cori
Claudio Dentes: Armonica, Chitarra Acustica, Chitarra Elettrica, Mandolino, Cori
Marzipan: Violino
Giovanni Unterberger: Chitarra Acustica, Pedal Steel Guitar, Slide Guitar, Cori
Gigi Cappellotto: Basso
Ricky Gianco: Clavicembalo, Chitarra Elettrica, VCS3 Minimoog, Voce, Cori
Tullio De Piscopo, Diego Dabusti: Percussioni
Donatello: Mandolino Elettrico, Armonica, Basso, Chitarra, Sistro, Vibrafono, Flauto Dolce, Piano A.R.P., Piano Elettrico, Clavicembalo, Organo, Archi Elettronici, Banjo, Sintetizzatore Fender

June 19, 2019

G. Iacoucci ‎– Musicaimmagine (197?, LP, Italy)

Italian Library rare LP, published by Flipper Edizioni Musicali (unknown date)
Music composed and arranged by maestro Gerardo Iacoucci. A mix of jazz and funk, screen sounds, ethereal and experimental compositions. Very interesting.

June 15, 2019

Rainbow Theatre ‎– The Armada (1975, CD, Australia)

Tracks Listing
1. The darkness motive (13:37)
.. a) Flourish
.. b) Overture
.. c) Frist theme
.. d) Second theme
2. Song (1:35)
3. Petworth House (5:51)
4. Song (1:35)
5. The Armada: (14:20)
.. a) Scene at sea
.. b) Dominion
.. c) Centuries deep
.. d) Bolero
.. e) Last picture

Bonus Track: 
Icarus (from Symphony No.8)
..a) Icarus and Daedalus
..b) Ascension
..c) Labyrinth Gothica
..d) Icarian Sea

Pauline Ashleigh / vocals (alto)
Julian Browning / guitar, Mellotron
Graeme Carter / drums, tympani, gongs
Peter Cox / vocals (bass)
Matthew Cozens / piano, organ
Helen Grad / vocals (soprano)
Frank Graham / trumpet, cornet, French horn
Keith Hoban / lead vocals (tenor)
Ferg McKinnon / bass
Helen Modra / vocals (alto)
Steven Nash / saxophone, clarinet, flute
Don Santin / trombone
Barry Skelton / vocals (tenor)
Sue Twigg / vocals (soprano)
Evan Zachariah / vocals (bass)

2006 CD re-issue: Aztec Music AVSCD019

The Melbourne-based Rainbow Theatre had started out in early 73, but didn’t get to the full octet line-up present on their debut album until late 74. Lead by composer-guitarist-mellotronist Julian Browning, the group aligned a three-man horn section. They had performed live a great deal of the material that was to go on their debut album, but apparently it came out in a fairly different light. Most of the brilliant live soloing was not reproduced and instead many arrangements received the favor of RT. Graced with an exceptional gatefold artwork, depicting the sinking of The Armada (the Spanish fleet was sunk mostly by a storm in the late XVIth), and given the sparkling production, this must’ve been an expensive record to produce and RT did it as a private release, later opting for the German Clear Light Of Jupiter label (originally a four album deal including this one), which was also responsible for most of the Krautrock and electronic prog record importing down under.
The opening epic Darkness Motive is a heavy jazz-rock (sounding a bit like brass rock) introduction before braking into a typical prog rock with a weird mix operatic vocal of Keith Hoban and symphonic rock that resembles Crimson’s first two albums. The short Song is mostly Hoban’s baritone voice accompanied by a piano. Ending the A-side is the 6-min Petworth House, where Hoban’s voice is rambling over an organ before the brass section interrupts then allowing for the choirs section (all friends of from the Victorian Opera Company Choir, where Hoban was helping out) for some delicious cascading cannon vocals. brass, mellotrons, subdued choirs succeed (at times I can’t help but thinking of Floyd Atom Heart Mother) to great success until the track dies all too early.

Opening the flipside is the short preparatory Song (based on the same canvas than its sister) to the other epic, the title track. Starting on a sinister mellotron, paced on a military march (you just sense a future Bolero), leading on a dramatic narration and horns, choirs, trons of mellos, etc.. This tracks reeks of Crimson, from Schizoid Man to the Lizard suite, and indeed the Bolero comes over a superb soprano and its tenor counterpoint and Steve Nash’s sax.

Added as a bonus track is a non-related to the group Browning classical composition (called Icarus) that was recorded in 96, and just like the bonus track on Fantasy Of Horses, you’d never guess it wasn’t part of the original oeuvre (as it simply fits quite well its spirit), apart from the classical instrumentation-only.

An incredibly ambitious album for this octet’s debut and clearly the most stunning prog work to come out of Aussieland, only topped by their follow-up! While being somewhat cheesy (as all operas usually do), Rainbow Theatre’s two albums cannot be enough recommended to anyone wanting to discover buried gems. And these two are some of the biggest opals ever unearthed. Run for this!!! (by Sean Trane)