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(53:37, Altrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Bella Lee 3:34 2. Parliamone 5:43 3. Infraditi 7:36 4. Fungo 6:42 5. Cane Di Schiena 6:32 6. Pappa Irreale 2:27 7. Antenna 7:59 8. Klez 4:16 9. Max Dembo 8:47 LINEUP: Marco Ravera – el. & ac. guitars, synthesizer Tommaso Rolando – ac. & el. basses Filippo Cantarella – violin, viola Nando Magni – trombones Nicola Magri – drums With: Cosimo Francavilla – saxophone (2) Antonio Carletti – weird vocals (7)
Prolusion. The Italian band CALOMITO has existed since 2003. Following “Inaudito” from 2005, “Cane Di Schiena” is its second album, marking my first acquaintance with its work.
Analysis. Already upon the first listening to the album it becomes clear that that this is first and foremost a group effort, as each of the five band members is highly active throughout, and all of them seem to be equally crucial to its overall sound and success as well. Two thirds of the nine tracks here – Bella Lee, Fungo, Klez, Cane Di Schiena, Antenna and Max Dembo – display Chamber Rock as their primary style (without a distinct RIO component, though), the subsidiary ones being as divergent as Symphonic Prog (and I mean a pronouncedly symphonic one) and improvisational Jazz-Fusion, albeit quite a few of these reveal also elements of Balkan brass music and some dark-and-heavy stuff as well. All of them are diverse, dynamically evolving compositions, emphasizing ensemble arrangements in the variety of configurations possible, no matter that a couple of them are basically slow-paced. The band seems to be well acquainted with the work of some of the best chamber rock and jazz-fusion ensembles, but it assimilates the implied influences in such a clever way that each of the above tracks sounds like it bears no outside influences at all; exceptionally original. Of the remaining three compositions, Parliamone is seen as tightly arranged Jazz-Fusion, reminiscent of Return To Forever and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, both circa 1973 (yes, the influences are more obvious this time). The dominant lead instruments are Marco Ravera’s guitars and Nando Magni’s trombones, albeit Filippo Cantarella’s violin – or viola – at times comes to the fore too, and when it does, the music gets some chamber rock-evoking quality as well. Infraditi is also a jazz-fusion piece, but is straighter and mellower at once, at times even ‘cooking’ like The Alan Parsons Project. The tune isn’t groovy, but it might come across as being such, mainly due to the trombones, which provide either unison leads or the ones in tertio, quarta and quinta. Thankfully those moves, conventional in delivery, moves are well balanced by the passages of violins and guitar, none of which ever work as chordal instruments. Finally, the comparatively short Pappa Irreale is an amusing mix of rock and Balkan folk music, performed in a jovial way.
Conclusion. I have no idea of what Calomito did on its previous album, but on this one, the 53-minute “Cane Di Schiena”, the quintet is overall in excellent form, most of the time displaying a high level of musicianship along with passion for creativity, which is totally genuine, I must say. If you’re equally into Chamber Rock and Jazz-Fusion, be sure to check the CD out: the music you like covers more than four fifths of its space. Top-20-2010
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