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TRACK LIST: 1. Sqwaqwaz 5:32 (Rosa) 2. Copenhagen 7:11 (Argenti) 3. Mandiale 7:58 (=) 4. Three Minute Blues 6:53 (Rosa) 5. Dubbio 4:09 (=) 6. Boston 7:50 (=) LINE-UP: Ferdinando Argenti - acoustic piano Enrico Rosa - acoustic guitar With: Eva Rosa - alto recorder (on 3 & 6) Produced by Rosa & Argenti. Engineered by Rosa & Argenti at "Thin Ice", Boston, MA.
Prolusion. Enrico Rosa is known for being the main mastermind behind Italy's >Campo Di Marte that had existed in the first half of the 1970 (though there are rumors that something new will soon be released under the 'banner' of this band). As for his friend and collaborator on this album, Ferdinando Argenti, I know nothing about his musical past.
Synopsis. As well as in the case of Rock, Jazz can be progressive, proto-progressive, and non-progressive. Overall, the music on "To the Old Friendship" is nothing else but Acoustic Progressive Jazz, though in a pure form it is presented only on Sqwaqwaz (1). Also, this is the only track here consisting of a highly intensive improvisational jam, which was performed very fast, yet, a bit straightforward, in my view. All the arrangements on the album represent the constantly developing interplay between passages of piano and solos of acoustic guitar (plus those of recorder on a couple tracks). But while all of this is mainly jazzy in character, everything is quite easily comprehensible and looks coherent even from a 'classic' progressive standpoint. Copenhagen (2) is a more thoughtful and diverse composition with an obvious romantically nostalgic feel to it and is about Acoustic Jazz-Fusion with elements of Jazz Classical Music and, with that, not without those of a symphonic 'origin', too. The 7-minute Three Minute Blues and Dubbio (4 & 5) are as excellently thought out and diverse as Copenhagen and are done in a similar style, though there are more bluesy and symphonic shades in the musical palette of these compositions. Both of the remaining pieces: Mandiale and Boston (and these are the longest tracks on the album) contain the parts of alto recorder, performed by Enrico's wife Eva, and are my absolute favorites. On each of these compositions, there are episodes where the interplay between passages of either Spanish or classical guitar and solos of recorder are clearly about Art-Rock, and thus, here we have Acoustic Progressive Jazz with elements of guitar and symphonic Art-Rock or just a real progressive Jazz-Fusion.
Conclusion. "To the Old Friendship" presents the high-quality music performed by real dabs. Metal heads will definitely avoid this, but all the open-minded music lovers able to perceive and comprehend Progressive in any form, not to mention those into Jazz and related genres, should appreciate it, at least.
VM: September 26, 2003
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