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23 Aug 2016

Alberomotore “Il Grande Gioco” 1974 Italian Prog

Alberomotore “Il Grande Gioco” 1974 Italian Prog


A Rome-based, five-piece band, ALBERO MOTORE got together in the early Seventies. Their name means "drive shaft" in Italian. They were discovered by the singer and guitarist Ricky Gianco, who produced their first and only album, "Il grande gioco" (released in 1974), and he also wrote the lyrics to all the songs. He then helped them obtain a recording deal with his new label Intingo (which specialised in Italian folk music) when their original label, Car Juke Box, closed down. The following year, Albero Motore released a single by the title "Messico lontano", then disbanded. From a musical point of view, the album has few real connections with progressive rock, sounding more like one of the numerous rock-influenced albums by Italian singers-songwriters (cantautori) which were popular at the time. The vocal parts, sung by Maurizio Rota's strong, gutsy voice (often compared to Joe Cocker's) are very much in evidence; while the overall sound of the band is more influenced by American-style, blues-based classic rock than by symphonic prog. Among the eight tracks included in "Il grande gioco", particular mention should be made of "Israele", which addresses the plight of the Palestinian people with the sensitivity typical of many Italian '70s bands towards political issues.After the band's end, most of the individual members have continued their career in the Italian music world ....

Albero Motore was an Italian rock band from the mid 1970s who were influenced by the vibrant RPI scene all around, but never truly a prog band. The band from Rome had a short burst of success in 1974 after a great reception at festivals (the Festival of Avant-Garde in Naples in 1973, in Villa Borghese and Villa Pamphili in 1974) and went on to release their only album, aided by the musical everyman Ricky Gianco. Gianco's socially conscious lyrics were said to be quite good, covering everything from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the counterculture, imperialist domination of cultures, and globalism. A single would follow in 1975 after which the band split.

Not a particularly original project, the album sounds very much like a mixture of 60s and early 70s rock influences. You can hear some American rock and bluesy-classic rock intention, the Italian pop sound, and there are moments that sound like English rockers Badfinger, the Stones, Joe Cocker, and Traffic. Similar Italian groups would be Libra or Raminghi. Gruffy, unshaven vocals over electric and acoustic guitars, some honky-tonk piano, and bluesy rhythms. The guitar solo on "Christofo Colombo" is pure Joey Molland. "Le esperienze passate" has a cool piano introduction and some brief strings. Closer "Capodanno '73" is an instrumental which heads in a fusion direction with spirited acoustic as well as electric guitar. Here the pace really kicks up a notch and it's a shame they waited this long to catch the wave.

Here and there you will find somewhat more elaborate flavorings or arrangements but for the most part there is little RPI excitement to be found. The album is not unpleasant but surely would be limited in appeal to fans of Italian rock. Somewhere between 2 and 3 stars, it should please fans of good rock and roll but may leave RPI fans underwhelmed. Worth looking for if you have a deep RPI collection.....

Line-up / Musicians

- Glauco Borelli / bass, vocals
- Fernando Fera / guitar
- Adriano Martire / keyboards
- Maurizio Rota / vocals, percussion
- Marcello Vento / drums

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cristoforo Colombo (6:15)
2. Le esperienze passate (3:35)
3. Una vita di notte (5:28)
4. Landru (4:43)
5. Israele (6:30)
6. Nel giardino dei lillà (5:30)
7. Capodanno '73 (2:41)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..