ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Corciolli - 2009 - "Lightwalk"

(52:54, Azul Music)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Miragea 4:45
2.  Amethysios 5:53
3.  Star 4:15
4.  Pegasus 4:08
5.  Lightwalk 5:15
6.  Firefly 5:00
7.  River 4:51
8.  Talisman 3:57
9.  Dreams 4:04
10. Supernova 5:46
11. Air 5:00


Corciolli – piano, synthesizers; sequencers, samplers
Christiano Rocha – drums, percussion
Claudio Machado – bass
Tony Levin – bass (3, 7, 8)
Andre Matos – vocals (3, 9)
Ulisses Rocha – guitar (5, 10)
Renato Martins – triangles (5, 10)
Nana Vasconcelos – congas (2, 3, 6, 7)
Marcus Viana – violin (4)

Prolusion. Since his debut in the early ‘90s, Brazilian composer and keyboardist CORCIOLLI has been a highly prolific artist, releasing albums at a rate few can compete against. He has established himself internationally as well, and has apparently worked with notable artists such as Vangelis, Sarah Brightman and Yossou N'Dour in the 15 or so years he has released solo material. "Lightwalk" was issued in 2009, and sports guest appearances from high profile bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson, et al) and Andre Matos (Angra) as arguably the main points of interest for progressive rock fans.

Analysis. Corciolli may be an unfamiliar name to many despite his relatively high profile in the world of music. Personally, I'll have to admit to being completely in the dark about this artist prior to receiving this CD for review, and others I know with more of an ear for mainstream music hadn't come across this artist either. The fact that he's a Brazilian may have something to do with that, as well as the music he creates. It seems that the foundation of his exploits resides within new age territories in terms of style, and albums of that sort tend to go under the radar screen for many, no matter what type of music they normally listen to, with descriptions such as elevator music attached to this genre more often than to other stylistic expressions. And while this particular album stays mostly on the right side of that particular territory, there's no denying that new age is a term that pops up pretty soon while exploring this creation. The compositions are generally light, unchallenging and positive, where wandering piano themes and lush synth textures create fluffy, comfortable and highly relaxing atmospheres. Some tracks are indeed highly cliched efforts, heading directly into elevator music territory and staying put there throughout, but thankfully there are a few endeavors here that offer more tangible and sophisticated takes on the new age genre as well, even to the point that they may be described as approaching progressive musical landscapes. On these escapades darker textures are added in to provide contrasts, subtle additions from percussion and bass in particular and synth-based textures with more of a symphonic touch to them create a richer sonic tapestry. And while far from being challenging in any normal definition of the word, these efforts at least provide something to listen to besides the safe and sugary-sweet landscapes which are so much a trademark of generic new age music. When that is said, the level of sophistication isn't by far up to the standards provided by your average progressive rock oriented outfit. The compositions providing a more elaborate landscape here do so in the context of new age music, although elaborate takes on the genre they are a part of and when compared to other artists exploring this style of music.

Conclusion. While the presence of Matos and Levin as guest musicians on this disc may warrant some interest in itself on behalf of followers of progressive rock, I suspect that those devoted to sophisticated progressive music for the most part will find "Lightwalk" to be too much of a fluffy, unassuming affair to interest them. Those who enjoy light, positive music with a firm foundation in the new age genre should find this production highly interesting though, and those who love the dreamier parts of the back catalog of artists such as Vangelis might as well place an order for this CD right away.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: June 13, 2010
The Rating Room

Corciolli - 2009 - "Lightwalk"


Analysis. Though keyboardist and composer CORCIOLLI has been active on the music scene for an impressive number of years, releasing an equally impressive number of albums, it is rather unlikely that any of those discs would have found its way on the desk of a progressive rock reviewer such as myself. In fact, Corciolli is one of those musicians whose output falls under the heading of ambient/New Age (a very accurate description for albums based on the likes of Feng Shui, Reiki and aromatherapy), a genre that is only very tangentially related to prog, and that often encounters the outright hostility of those who take the world ‘progressive’ seriously. The main reason why “Lightwalk” is being reviewed on a prog site is the presence of a number of musicians associated with the genre, though belonging to different ramifications. Fellow Brazilians Nana Vasconcelos (a percussionist known for his work with Pat Metheny, as well as Don Cherry in the short-lived band project Codona) and Marcus Vieira (involved with quite a few Brazilian prog bands such as O Ter?o and Sagrado Cora?ao Da Terra) are probably familiar to a more restricted audience, while Matos is well-known to prog metal fans as the former vocalist of Angra and Shaaman. The biggest attraction, legendary bassist Tony Levin, has contributed to too many albums and projects to count. However, anyone who was expecting the individual curriculum of those musicians to influence, even minimally, the sound of this album is in for a big disappointment, since – to put it very bluntly – “Lightwalk” is nothing more than a sophisticated slice of glorified elevator music. One of the distinctive features of this particular genre is the basically homogenous nature of the tracks on any given album, and “Lightwalk” does not deviate from this mould. In spite of the not inconsiderable running time (almost 55 minutes), most listeners would be hard put to name the title of any of the 11 numbers. The only somewhat more memorable items are Star and Dreams, both performed by Andre Matos, his powerful voice almost unrecognizable in this soothing, highly melodic context. The rest of the tracks share the same structure – Corciolli’s liquid piano emoting over an assortment of mostly soft, unobtrusive electronic effects, avoiding anything that might be construed as jarring or hard-edged. Nana Vasconcelos’ percussion and Tony Levin’s bass are to all intents and purposes unnoticeable, while Marcus Viana’s violin adds some interest to the otherwise undistinguished Pegasus. At times the music might suggest Jean-Michel Jarre or the more commercial, New-Agey ventures of Mike Oldfield, as in the case of Firefly, while River possesses an almost tango-like pace – the only reference to South American music that can be detected on the album. To wrap up my review with a pun, “Lightwalk” might as well have been titled “Lightweight” – at least if seen from the point of view of a dedicated prog fan. Though the formal aspect (including the colourful, romantic packaging that reminded me of Venice’s carnival) cannot really be faulted, the musical content of the album is not very likely to attract the attention of those who like creativity, variety and edginess from their music of choice. Well-performed and well-produced indeed, but ultimately nothing more than sonic wallpaper.

Conclusion. Though “Lightwalk” is likely to have a bigger mass appeal than most ‘real’ progressive rock albums, its connection to this site’s main thrust is tenuous to say the least, and only justified by the presence of some renowned prog and jazz musicians. As a whole, the album can be recommended to those who are mainly interested in music as a means of relaxation, or as a background to other activities.

RB=Raffaella Berry: July 16, 2010
The Rating Room

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