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22 Feb 2017

I Teoremi “I Teoremi” 1972 Italian Prog

I Teoremi “I Teoremi” 1972 mega rare Italian Prog
A quartet from Rome, though their singer Vincenzo "Lord Enzo" Massetti came from Naples, they debuted with a single in 1971. The album, simply called “I Teoremi”, is one of the rarest Italian prog-era albums, though not a proper prog LP, as it contains a hard rock inspired sound in the same style as early Rovescio della Medaglia. It was released in 1972 on the small Polaris label, that also produced the “Alpha ralpha boulevard” LP by I Numi, and contains seven self-penned tracks, mostly in the hard rock vein, with light prog influences as in the long “Mare della tranquillità”, the only track including piano. A very good album whose original copies are worth a fortune.
Bassist Aldo Bellanova later went to Samadhi, while Lord Enzo left Italy to Thailand where he is still working as singer. Drummer Claudio Mastracci briefly played with Il Punto (also at Villa Pamphili festival in Rome with them), and later with some pop artists like Donatella Rettore and Sergio Caputo, and in some TV shows orchestras. He still works as drum teacher. Guitarist Mario Schilirò has played with important Italian artists like Antonello Venditti and, still now since many years, Zucchero.

I Teoremi are born in Rome in the late '60s. After a period of concerts, in 1971 Tito Gallo, Mario Schilirò, Bellanova Aldo and Claudio Mastracci entered the studio to record their first 45 (Dreaming / All things) where, the second track is a cover of With you there to help me Jethro Tull revisited.

In 1972 Gallo leaves the band. In its place comes Vincenzo Massetti, known in the 60s as Lord Enzo (with this name attended the strangers Festival held at Ariccia in 1968).

After a few months the band returned to the studio to record their only album: The theorems. The result is a work that attracts the most hard elements of prog of the channel, with a great use of distorted guitar and bass, and from which the remarkable technique of musicians emerges.

The disc has a circulation quite limited and minimal promotion (today it is highly sought after by collectors). In addition, the band performs rarely after its release which leads to its dissolution in 1973.

The great technical skills of the four members were still revalued and exploited in the following years. Bellanova enters Samadhi, Massetti continues his career singer in Thailand, Schilirò plays with a large number of artists, including Venditti, Baglioni, Cocciante and Sugar, Mastracci sounds for a short period with the point, replacing Stefano D'Orazio, then also he collaborated with many artists, including Sergio Caputo and Donatella Rector..............

 I Teoremi is easy to discard and pigeonhole as heavy prog, which it most certainly is, but there is some astoundingly impressive musicianship happening on the album that cannot be easily overlooked. This self-titled 1972 affair begins placidly enough, but don't let the fluid blues facade mislead you; Teoremi blast through 45 minutes of proto-prog rock like a hot knife through butter. Of particular interest are the guitars - Mario Schiliro masterfully commanding the Les Paul, and Vincenzo Massetti continually raising eyebrows with his bass playing. The pair recall the likes of Clapton/Bruce one minute, and Flea compatriots Pennisi/Volpini the next. But the most fitting comparison I can make of these two is to Alberto Radius and Bob Callero; though these masters would join forces in Il Volo, their early work with Formula 3 and Osage Tribe respectively is more similar to what I Teoremi were doing. And what they do is wake up the neighbors. Play this puppy LOUD.
The 1999 Akarma CD has a different running order than the Vinyl Magic, but it is the Akarma to which I am accustomed and will refer to that version here. The album begins with "Nuvola Che Copri Il Sole," a bluesy number with tons of energy right out of the gate. Immediately noticeable is the attention-grabbing voice of Vincenzo Massetti, who sounds like a soulful Roman version of Paul Rogers. This guy isn't afraid to belt it out, and does so early and often. By "Qualcosa D'irreale" you start to realize this isn't typical rock music, as the rhythm section starts doing some unexpected odd-meter and syncopated unison work. The three musicians are clearly rehearsed and tight, yet retain an off-the-cuff realism that is much appreciated. Massetti especially goes for it, attempting a high-string tightrope walk that isn't always pretty, yet he somehow never falls. At the four-minute mark any doubts you may still have subside, as the guitars interlock for a classically-inspired break that will make RDM and New Trolls fans blush.

Three shorter songs follow which further demonstrate the remarkable riff-writing abilities of I Teoremi. Of main interest to prog rock followers are the two long songs that follow: "Impressione" (which opens the original LP and CD) shifts from weighty electric R&B to spacey psych in one fell swoop; "Mare Della Traquillita" features a lengthy drum solo and even some cavernous piano to up the prog ante. The Akarma CD has a couple of bonus tracks featuring the group's first single and B-side, which are nice additions. The digital delivery of I Teoremi offers the same track sequence, and is a cheap $8 download. I Teoremi should belong in any Heavy/Psych collection, but RPI purists may be turned off by the seemingly one-dimensional aspect of the album; repeated listens may win them coasterzombie.........

 Among Italian heavy prog albums, it is difficult to rate this one. It certainly stands up with many of the truly great Italian heavies, bearing several points of comparison to Osage Tribe and also at times to Greece's Socrates Drank The Conium. I Teormi however is unique in their use of frenetic atmospheres throughout much of their compositions, hinting at an avantgarde feel on this their sole output. It surprises me how modern much of it feels due to atonal shifts in their sound. Their vocalist doesn't sound too far from the norm in the Italian Prog realm, but the rest of the band heavily twists, rips and blasts their way through three quarters of an hour. A unique classic of Heavy Prog! enemene...............

An incredibly rare album, I Teoremi has been reissued three times with its gatefold white cover.
The first reissue by Vinyl Magic (who also issued it in CD) was in a numbered issue of 300 copies with a textured gatefold cover having a flap on the right side as the original; the band's only 7" release was included as a bonus single. This reissue is rather difficult to find.
A new reissue was by Akarma, with a standard gatefold cover, adding the singles' tracks on the LP. In 2011 the album has been reissued again by AMS with the same textured gatefold cover with flap as the original and a limited early pressing of 300 white vinyl copies.
Both the Akarma reissues, on CD and LP, have the tracks of the two original sides in reverse order compared with the other versions.....Italian Prog...........

2.Mare della tranquillità
3.Passi da gigante
4.Nuvola che copri il sole
5.Qualcosa d'irreale
6.Il dialogo d'un pazzo
7.A chi non sarà più

Bonus tracks:
9.Tutte le cose


1972 – I Teoremi (Polaris POL/BP 711)

1999 – I Teoremi (Ristampa del primo album con due brani aggiuntivi – Akarma AK 1020)


1971 – Sognare / Tutte le cose (Polaris FK2)

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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