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11 Mar 2017

Fusioon “Fusioon 1” 1972 + “Fusioon 2” 1974 + “Minorisa” 1975 Spanish Prog Jazz Rock Fusion
















Fusioon “Fusioon 1” 1972 + “Fusioon 2” 1974 + “Minorisa” 1975 Spanish Prog Jazz Rock Fusion
full  “Fusioon 1+ 2
full Minorsa 1975
This is a Spanish quartet from Barcelona featuring Manuel Camp (piano and keyboards), Jordi Camp (bass), Santi Arisa (drums) and Marti Brunet (electric guitars and synthesizers). In the first half of the Seventies FUSIOON released three albums entitled "Fusioon I" (1972), "Fusioon II" (1974) and "Minorisa" (1975). 

The first album FUSIOON contains arrangements from 'traditionals'. It sounds like a tasteful stew with classical, folk, jazz and symphonic elements. The songs has echoes from KING CRIMSON (Fripperian guitar), FOCUS (flute) and Le ORME/EKSEPTION/ELP (Hammond organ) but the musical ideas are great and the musicians play strong with many surprising breaks and exciting solos and interplay. The highlight is "Danza del molinero" (Manual de Falla) with sparkling piano, a tight rhythm-section, an Andalusian sounding violin, fiery electric guitar and powerful Hammond waves, culminating in a grand finale. The second LP II has a more symphonic sound, especially the Keith EMERSON-like Hammond, Moog - and pianoplay is very prominent but I can also trace GENTLE GIANT (guitar/piano interplay and some vocal harmonies). An alternating and interesting album . 

Their best effort is the third record entitled "Minorisa", containing three long tracks. The first two are an amazing blend of KING CRIMSON, GENTLE GIANT, ELP and even TANGERINE DREAM (flute-Mellotron like the "Phaedra"-era) with lots of captivating musical moments, lush keyboards and strong interplay (guitar, keyboards, flute, bass). The third song is a maverick: a kind of sound collage, very electronic like TANGERINE DREAM, SYNERGY and Klaus SCHULZE with flute Mellotron, all kind of synthesizer sounds and fat Moog runs, a bit weird and not really satisfying end of this good album...............

Fusioon 1 1972

The Spanish prog-stage of the seventies is a completely separate story. Here, of course, they looked closely at the advanced achievements of the British, took over the experience, but did not forget about their own roots. Fortunately, each of the national provinces could boast of unique song traditions. However, let others engage in general reasoning on this issue. We will leave the theory alone and focus on a very specific object - the Fusioon quartet. The ensemble was born in the town of Manresa, the spiritual stronghold of Catalan culture. Here in the late 1950s, the musical movement Nova Cançó emerged, symbolizing the resurgence of deep regional seams. And with this direction was closely linked the founder of the band Fusioon - composer / keyboardist Manel Kamp. His companions were: brother Jordy Kamp (bass), Marty Brunet (guitar, synthesizer), Santi Arisa (drums, percussion). It is curious that the first album did not include any author's stuff from the direct participants of the collective. For the most part, the debut consisted of popular tunes re-arranged by Manel along with Kazas Auchi. But the way it was done costs a lot.
In 35 minutes of sound, the four 'fusion players' managed to invest a lot of ingenious compositional maneuvers, carefully calculated instrumental combinations and simply an excellent game. In the opening play "Danza Del Molinero" along with the jazz-rock rhythmic basis, the soil tendencies are clearly discernible. The group acts exceptionally sophisticated, not afraid to mix in a variety of proportions radically different colors from each other. Classical piano moves, offensive techniques of percussion and bass, a somewhat aggressive guitar pitch + polyphonic delights of the Barcelona Orchestra school and the proto-prog part of organic gymnastics. Variety and folklore basis of the "Ya Se Van Van Los Pastores" number spills out occasionally, at the level of electrostring passages of Brunet. The rest is buried beneath the thickness of successive intricate paintings, where art, jazz and flute escapades reign in the style of either Herbie Mann or Tis van Lier (in the booklet the performer is not indicated). The track "Ses Porqueres" is focused on the drive-roll of the phono with the guitar with the powerful swinging support of the Jordi / Santi ligament. In "Pavana Española (Siglo XVI)" maestro Manel demonstrates the highest pianistic class. Brilliant technique accompanies pure drama. As a result, for three minutes from the tail, minutes before us, without a word, a finished narration is carried - a meta-novel compressed to a miniature format. Event collisions of the "Negra Sombra" thing range from unfolded symphonic details to lengthy lyric fusion retreats. But here everything is capacious, concentrated, essentially, without unnecessary burrs. In the context of the composition "En El Puerto De Pajares" the team devotes a trendy trend in those years, namely baroque-rock. There is a certain similarity with the calculations of the Dutch Ekseption. Nevertheless, Fusioon looks more interesting, at least because of the introduction of brass in the structure of the work. Interesting sketch "Rima Infantil" is built as a theoretical acquaintance of J. Gershwin with the Spanish underground party. And the final "El Cant Dels Ocells" boldly adapts the expressive pop-motive to splicing with flawless jazz, prog-and classic-segments.
I sum up: an exceptionally strong work, realized by truly talented people. Sincerely I recommend to each music fan.....................

 One of those artwork sleeves that symbolize the music style best, but this is doubled by the band's name - the other one that does equally good is Nucleus's Elastic Rock recorded almost three years before. The first chapter of this standard prog quartet with the Camp brothers at bass and KB is actually fairly accessible (well compared to the other two later albums) and IMHO, is maybe the one I prefer because of its naiveté.
This record is a mostly instrumental one (a few scatting one the opening track), but this does not hamper the enjoyment of the music: they have a fairly unique sound and the music has some very subtle Spanish overtones but not in the Flamenco realm. Their sound oscillates between Isotope, Wigwam (the Gustavson and Pohjola compositions), Focus or Finch, Sloche (or fellow Quebecois Maneige) and countrymen Iceberg. If the jazz colours are the main characteristics of the album, the classical influences peak here and there, most notably in Negra Sombra (Dark Black). Apparently all of the tracks are covers of traditional songs (6 of 8 tracks) all adapted/arranged by Manel Camp and the other two being penned by other writers. The odd flute, sax and clarinet (actually un-credited) but drummer Arisa is the one playing them (says D-E Asbjornsen) and bring touches of brilliance. The superb piano may even ring reminiscence of Chilean Los Jaivas in their more symphonic moments and with the organs, ELP comes to mind.

Certainly worth the investigation, especially if you enjoyed the better-known two later albums...... by Sean Trane ..................

 This Barcelona-based spanish band made thei debut in 1972 with their eponymous album.FUSIOON is a rather hard band to compare with some of the 70's prog rock giants...If I had to choose I would say that you could imagine a more fusion style of GENTLE GIANT's music (seems the name of the band isn't all that accidental!).Of course things are a little more complicated that this description...
The music of the band is an interesting mix of jazz rock,fusion,symphonic rock and you can add also some spanish ethnic orientations.The overall mood of the album leaves you generally with a pleasant feeling but there also some dark passages in the vein of KING CRIMSON (like in some ''Ya se van los pastores'' moments) as also some dramatic classical pieces like the stunning ''Negra Sombra'' which has a sound very close to FOCUS...There are also some flutes here and there with first role playing close to JETHRO TULL...All the band members are excellent musicians but I'm really impressed by the bass work of Jordi Camp,a very good example that a bass player can be a lot more that just a part of the rhythm section,a great bassist indeed!

What about the conclusion?This is a band to discover!Every prog rock fan should be pleased with this work due to the varied music styles and the excellent musicianship...Fans of GENTLE GIANT,FOCUS,KING CRIMSON have an extra reason to search for this one...Between 3 and 4 stars closing to 4......by apps79 ..............

Line-up / Musicians:
- Santi Arisa / drums
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizers
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Manel Camp / piano, keyboards

1 Danza del molinero 4:33
2 Ya se van los pastores 5:16
3 Ses porqueres 3:13
4 Pavana Española (Siglo XVI) 3:01
5 Negra sombra 3:44
6 En el puerto de pajares 4:13
7 Rima infantil 3:37
8 El cant dels ocells 4:15

Fusioon 2  1974

 Fusioon's recordings are amongst the most exciting offerings in Spanish prog history. Thier second slbum 'Fusioon 2' comprises a stunning combination of delightful melodies and counterpoints, clever interplaying, delicate dissonances, and even some electronic avant- garde stuff which adds an interesting air of weirdness to the overall musical product. It is clear that the band is pretty much into traditional classical music (in Fact, they quote Tchaikovsky somewhere in track 3), as well as contemporary chamber (such as Bartok), jazz, and Catalonian folk: hece, it should come as no susrprise that all these varied elements are essential to their own prog sound. At times, Fusioon sounds a bit reminiscent of Gentle Giant, Return to Forever, and in a slightly manner, of Zappa; yet, they manage to create a particular sound of their own. The band's repertoire is basically instrumental: the occasional choral arrangements (performed by the band members themselves) are included for playful purposes, mainly. "Farsa del Buen Vivir" is a nice tune, catchy but not simplistic, which serves as a good opener. It is in the following numbers that Fusioon's skill and inventiveness shines in full splendour. "Contraste" and "Diálogos" comprise plenty of dissonant passages, synth textures, and jazz-fusinonesque flavours; on the other hand, "Tritons" and "Concerto Grosso" are structured on a symphonic basis, still containing some occasional avant-garde adornments and surprising counterpoints. Fusioon works immaculately as a well-oiled ensemble: maybe this is the main reason why 'Fusion 2' is such a recommendable album...by Cesar Inca ...............

The second Fusioon album (also called Crocodile) is quite a different affair than the debut mostly because of its less fusion-esque spirit, but it is likely to please many progheads because of its main influence: Gentle Giant. This mimetism is even a little too derivative IMHO, regardless of that fact, the album is impressive nonetheless.
As far as I am concerned we are dealing with the second best GG album not made by GG themselves. Not far behind Quebec's Etcetera's sole album but well ahead of Germany's Epidermis's debut album, GG is not the only influence presented here, but certainly the most dominant one. Among which I will list Gryphon, The Nice and Yes, but maybe a bit of jazz-rock (Soft Machine) also.

Again a mainly instrumental album (I estimate the singing or vocal parts to less than 15%), all of the tracks are penned by the Camp brothers (mostly Manel the KB man) which in itself is quite a departure from their earlier effort. The entirely instrumental (bar the final vocal chords) and very classical multi-movement suite Tritons (which contains a Tcaikovski variation) is clearly a highlight but personally I like Dialogos as my favourite with its impressive and dark start. A similar start for the other multi-movement suite Concerto Grosso, but the track falls a bit short on the inspiration front and by this time, I must admit I am a bit saturated from the GG bombardment.

Personally (and unlike the majority of progheads) I prefer this album to the following Minorisa even if that one is less derivative of classic prog groups.......by Sean Trane..............

 I am very close to giving this album 5 stars, if the name printed on this cheap-looking cover was Gentle Giant instead of the rather obscure spanish (catalan to be precise) band Fusioon I'm convinced that it would be up there in the rankings.
Don't get fooled by the band's name, ironically when the vast majority of 70's catalan prog was jazz-rock/fusion, Fusioon was one of the bands with lesser of it. Well more precisely both their eponymous debut and their last album Minorisa do have some fusion, but this one Fusioon 2 (nicknamed "Crocodile" to differentiate it from the debut) has little if any, instead being a delightful combination of Eclectic, Symphonic and Canterbury.

We can find two main broad styles, the tracks with vocals (sung in spanish) Farsa Del Buen Vivir and Dialogos sound very Gentle Giant, with intriguing harmonies that achieve that delicate balance between orthodox melody-harmony and dissonance. On the other hand the instrumental tracks Contraste and Tritons retain some GG flavour but can also remind of Egg, The Nice or Soft Machine, even King Crimson sometimes.

The 10 min last track Concerto Grosso has a few vocals but is mostly instrumental and combines both broad styles, fusing all the aforementioned influences over a more symphonic, nearly classical song structure as the title suggests.

Instrumentally the focus is on the fantastic keyboards work by Manel Camp, combining classical influences with aggressive soloing, and the drumming of Santi Arisa being also very good, these guys were among the finest musicians of the catalan scene in the 70's. But what I really love is the compositions, they are musically challenging and competent and perfectly reflect that kind of genuine, unadulterated prog inspiration which flourished in the first half of the 70's.

Many consider their third and last album Minorisa their best but although that one is also excellent and probably more technically elaborated, personally I prefer "Crocodile", it is more eclectic and does not have excessively experimental sections as Minorisa does. The best album by one of the best spanish prog bands of the 70's, so you can be sure it's damn good. 4.5 stars but it falls a bit short of the best ever masterpieces so round down to 4......by Gerinski ..............

Line-up / Musicians
- Santi Arisa / percussion, drums
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizer
- Manel Camp / piano, organ 

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Farsa Del Buen Vivir (3:08)
2. Contraste (6:32)
3. Tritons (8:15)
4. Dialogos (6:42)
5. Concerto Grosso (9:52)

Minorisa  1975

 The music featured on "Minorisa" is some of the most original keyboard-based prog that I've heard. FUSIOON's music is somewhat impossible to describe, but I can tell you that the album is made up of 3 long tracks. The first two tracks feature energetic, and playful, interaction between the guitarist and keyboardist. The listener will find a great mixture of symphonic and Spanish influences where the closest comparison that comes to my mind is Le ORME from Italy. My only complaint here is that the last track doesn't fit the atmosphere of the album. This track is basically an 8-minute analog electronic exploration. If the band had written just one more track similar to the first two tracks, this album would have been a masterpiece. Alas, expect 30-minutes of intense prog and 8-minutes of electronic noodling........by Steve Hegede ..............

Fusioon's final effort is their absolute masterpiece; "Minorisa" finds the band expanding their talent all the way up to their maximum intensity and to their most bizarre level of creativity. The three long tracks that fill the 37-minute time span of the album comprise some of the best prog music ever made in Spain's rock history, and generally speaking, it is a real treat for all those who enjoy good, original and exciting prog from any country in the world. The 19- minute monster suite 'Ebusus' kicks off the album with full splendour and immense extravagance: elegance and weirdness fuse into a sole sonic force during this multi-varied musical journey. The wide spectrum comprised in 'Ebusus' includes: jazz-rock, GG-influenced counterpoints and chord progressions, Zappa-esque vocal harmonies, touches of RIO-instilled moods, Arabic nuances, Catalonian folk, some Crimsonian guitar leads, Canterbury, "Mirage"-era Camel, surrealistic mellotron and synth adornments. and after all, the final result turns out to be quite unique. The guys of Fusioon actually managed to sound original beyond the myriad of influences that they evidently absorbed as writers and performers. It is also very odd that this sidelong track's structure feels so flexible and apparently chaotic, yet, if you listen from a deeper level, you will notice a distinct solidness that builds up a powerful cohesion that sustains the sequence of all successive sections and the reprises of some of them. What else can I say? 'Ebusus' is a gem in itself; this one alone makes this album worth the while of any particularly demanding prog aficionado. But let's not overlook the other two numbers, since they are great, too. The 11- minute namesake suite starts with a somber overture of Moog and bass guitar before the grand piano gets in to lay down the basic chords for the more epic "second" overture; the main motifs than come along soon after display an exquisite combination of Baroque-based symph prog and Catalonian prog in a very similar way to their fellow band Atila (and, to a lesser degree, similar to iceberg as well). The interplaying is as solid as it was for the first suite, but this time the bizarreness is a bit less intense: the band's major concern is focused on the melodic development of the main motifs for the 'Minorisa' suite. A special mention has to go to a beautiful pastoral passage that appears somewhere in the middle - a moment of captivating magic in the middle of the overall pompous frame that articulates and outlines the track's structure. The closure is a two-part Fripp & Eno-meets-Schulze electronic exploration: 'Llaves del Subconsciente' is a tour-de-force massively constructed on a foundation of synthesizer and mellotron, with additional processed sounds (guitar, piano, falsetto) soaring around in a most inscrutable manner. Even though it may sound a bit out of place to some, I personally find it very effective: something like an avant-garde manifesto, the announcement of the destruction of music as we know it (after many of its possible facets has been show in the previous two numbers) and a call for its most radical renewal in the present. General conclusion: a masterpiece!........by Cesar Inca .............

This album holds a very special place in my heart as representing the first concert I remember attending in my life. My father was member of a small social club in our neighbourhood in Barcelona where social events and parties were organised. One evening Fusioon played there and my father took us all brothers and sisters, I must have been 9 years old, 10 at most (born in '66 and this album is from '75) . Honestly I don't remember much of the concert except that I was fascinated by the drummer, but I do remember that at the exit we were given a poster featuring the cover of this album, I remember it as being huge although probably it was not. The poster hang on the wall of our room for quite some years sharing space with the big bands of the period, ELP, Yes, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Purple etc (I shared room with my older brother and it was completely covered with posters, the 4 walls and ceiling). Funnily we did not own the album at home and it was only some years later that I bought it precisely to recover some memories of that first concert experience.
Sentimental aspects aside, this is one of those lovely examples of genuine experimental jazz-rock-based prog which one thinks could only happen in the early '70s. Fusioon was influenced by bands like Egg, The Nice and King Crimson and featured some of the most highly regarded musicians of the '70s spanish jazz-rock-prog scene, most notably drummer Santi Arisa and keyboardist Manel Camp. The music is basically instrumental regardless of a few weird vocal fragments in the first track.

The first 2 tracks, accounting for nearly 80% of the album, are really outstanding. The opener Ebusus (the roman name for the island of Ibiza) is a delightful display of originality, mostly jazz-rock based prog featuring some catalan folklore traditional melodies, basically instrumental except for 2 sections, the first one repeating a sentence in catalan which translates as "from the year 1930 we will keep a good memory, let's hope that for many years we can happily recall it" (I'm not sure what does the sentence refer to but it's likely to be the end of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera which would eventually lead to the autonomous government of Catalunya in 1931). Later on they recite all the different names that the island has had during history. Great stuff with special mention to the outstanding drumming and keys.

The 2nd track Minorisa Suite (Minorisa was the roman name of their hometown Manresa) is also amazing, built up from 3 traditional catalan folklore melodies, arranged in jazz-rock- prog fashion, and although I'm not very fond of folklorical music the result in this case is great, lovely stuff.

The low of the album comes with the last track which is excessively experimental, especially the 2nd movement, it's just the guys playing with their synthesizers oscillators, may have been fun listening to it completely stoned in its day, but not my piece of cake right now, similar as to what happens with Egg's album The Polite Force. Fortunately it's only 8 minutes out of the total 38 so I won't drop the total rating too much because of it.

A lovely album, highly recommended to those who want to dig deeper in the origins of genuine, unadulterated, original, creative, I would even say "innocent", early 70's jazz-rock- based prog..........by Gerinski ...............

 This was a very pleasant surprise after what I felt was a disappointing debut from the band.This is their third and final album and it's just so interesting and left of center much of the time. Also there is an abuundance of melloton which only adds to my enjoyment. We get three long tracks and the opening song is a side long suite.
"Ebusus" is led by keyboards and drums early followed by bass and mellotron after a minute. Amazing stuff ! Mono-toned vocals 2 1/2 minutes in as the wind blows. It's heavier and darker before 4 minutes.This is so good. Prominant drumming after 5 minutes then some brief fast paced vocals. It's catchy with piano before 7 minutes with chunky bass as drums continue. Fast paced vocals are back before 8 1/2 minutes then a change before 9 minutes as it calms right down with mellotron. I'm reminded of AREA 10 minutes in then we get another calm before 12 1/2 minutes with mellotron. It kicks back in before 15 minutes and vocals follow. Mellotron 18 minutes in. Great song !

"Minorisa" opens with spacey synths and atmosphere. Mellotron joins in. Drums and piano take over before a minute then the synths return.The tempo changes often on this one. Church bells after 5 minutes then some heaviness with mellotron takes over. Synths and drums lead late. "Llaves Del Subconsciente" opens with mellotron then these strange and experimental sounds follow. Part II of this tune is very much an electronic soundscape that Klause Schulze would be proud of i'm sure.

No doubt a classic from Spain that the adventerous listener will eat up..... by Mellotron Storm ..............

Line-up / Musicians
- Manel Camp / piano, keyboards
- Jordi Camp / bass
- Santi Arisa / drums
- Marti Brunet / guitar, synthesizers

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Ebusus (18:50)
2. Minorisa (10:57)
3. Llaves del Subconsciente (8:06)

Various: Ayrshire Folk “Songs From the Singers of Ayr Folk Club” 1974 UK Folk in Private Deroy label



Various: Ayrshire Folk “Songs From the Singers of Ayr Folk Club” 1974 UK Folk in Private Deroy label
full

This album on the rare Deroy label was released in 1974. The number is Deroy 1052. It has 14 tracks. The 
singers, all pictured on the sleeve, were from the local folk club. 

A1 
Speedy & Ian - Me and Bobby McGhee 
A2 
Pete & Heather Heywood - Land of the Leal 
A3 
Dougie Bell - Steamboat Song 
A4 
John Clagg & Dave Strathie - Wild Flying Dove 
A5 
Tanninzie - Step It Out Mary 
A6 
Speedy & Ian - John Henry 
A7 
Pete & Heather Heywood - He Wears a Bunnet for a Hat 
B1 
Dougie Bell - Christian Island 
B2 
John Clagg & Dave Strathie - Bonnie George Campbell 
B3 
Speedy & Ian - Little Tin Soldier 
B5 
Pete & Heather Heywood - Busk Busk 
B6 
Dougie Bell - To Each and Everyone 
B7 
John Clagg & Dave Strathie - There Ye Go

Walter Raim Concept “Endless Possibilities" 1970 US Psych Pop






Walter Raim Concept “Endless Possibilities" 1970  US Psych Pop
full
“A long waited US soft rock masterpiece re-issue. First released on MTA Records in 1970, it features the original cover art and 11 tracks. As a composer, guitarist and arranger Walter Raim’s outstanding album. Produced by Bob Thompson, genius for arranging ‘60s lounge/space age pop scene (ex. Roger Nichols, Van Dyke Parks and Harpers Bizarre).”……..

Tracklist 
A1 Endless Possibilities
A2 It’s Always Somewhere Else
A3 A Woman Looking For Love
A4 City Of Grey
A5 Beautiful People
A6 Something’s Wrong With The Morning
B1 Since You’Ve Gone
B2 Nice Lady
B3 I’ll Never Fall In Love Again
B4 I Hear Bells
B5 Wedding Bell Blues 

Sacros “Sacros” 1973 Chile Psych Folk Rock reissued by Shadoks










Sacros “Sacros” 1973 mega rare Chile Psych Folk Rock reissued by Shadoks
full

"Sacros ('The Sacred') was a Chilean rock band inspired by the spiritual passion and veneration for the great gods of South America, such as Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, god of the ancient Mayas and Viracocha, Lord of Tiahuanaku in the Andes mountains. Sacros recorded the debut LP on the state label IRT and the production was destroyed by the militaries. Only very few copies survived from destruction. The music goes in the same direction as Los Jaivas, Los Blops and El Congreso (all from Chile) and Lula Cortez from Brazil. It has a great 12 string Rickenbacker sounds, effects, great vocals and rhythms with an experimental touch. You can call this easy one of the rarest albums from Latin America since only a handful of copies survived. Patricio Panussis (guitar & vocals) Hernan Valdovinos (bass & vocals) and Tomas R. Herrera (percussion). The band recorded only this one album in 1973." (Shadoks)............

40 years ago, Sacros looked set for success, at least in their native land. They had won the national schools competition in their "carefully chosen look, dressing in black trousers with white lace shirts" and at the time of recording their debut (after numerous changes of personnel) they were a well-honed trio, having practised at the Divina Providence Church in exchange for "making an electric mass".

Tomas Herrera was drumming, and Hernan Valdovinas was on bass sharing vocals with Patricio Panussis, one of the first 12-string guitarists in Chile.

This self-titled disc is a lovely cross-pollination. On one hand Sacros were friends with many priests and exposed to religious music; hence their name, "Sacred," on the other, they were hearing US electric folk influences such as The Byrds. Ironically, other US influences were at work in Chile, too.

At the behest of Nixon and Kissinger, the CIA were busy training the Chilean miltary, and funding anti-government strikes.

Kissinger stated that "the issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves" and "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people."

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean airforce bombed Santiago using British-made planes, and decades of murder, torture and other human rights abuses were set in motion. On the day of the coup, Salvador Allende took his own life.

Poet and singer Victor Jara was held with thousands of others in the Chile Stadium where he was repeatedly beaten before being machine gunned.

Before his death, Jara wrote a poem about the conditions in the stadium which was smuggled out in the shoe of a friend. And let me take this opportunity to point you to Robert Wyatt's version of Jara's "Te Recuerdo Amanda" ("I remember Amanda").

An estimated 200,000 people left Chile for exile. Two members of Sacros fled to Spain. Herrera quit music.

Valdavinos became a renowned painter and only returned to his homeland post-Pinochet to play music again with his old friend Panussis.

The latter had remained in Chile and subsequently formed the band Miel and also Musica Universal (unfortunately, a "new age" act). Henry Kissinger won the 1973 Nobel Peace prize.

So, for very good reason, then, this is an ultra-rare album. I listened to it with bated breath, as the early 1970s combination of spiritual and country rock styles might have come out sounding as dodgy as Spinal Tap meets the Gypsy Kings.

Yet, with light production, restrained playing and gentle experimentation, Sacros has an integrity which modern attempts to create the analog sound can't match, and it always steers clear of the worst turgid excesses of the psychedlic rock era.

The short opening piece "Aum" welcomes us to Chile in muted fashion, reverential voices to the fore. After that, in innocent contrast to the political events which would unfold, it is consistently breezy.

As a non-Spanish speaker, I find the lyrics pleasantly mysterious but for all I know it's trite nonsense. No matter, this is a record I'll be enjoying for a while.

Patricio Panussis's guitar playing at the start of "Iluso Que Suenos" has a hypnotic propulsive quality predicting Johnny Marr by about 25 years.

A psychedelic ode to the Plumed Serpent "Quetzalcoatl," God of the Mayas, is also a highlight, but the truly transcendental track is "La Realidad" ("The Reality").

This piece is a perfect crescenso of infectious vocal melodies, thumping bass, and jangling guitar; from one West Coast to another.

Chile Stadium is now named Estadio Victor Jara and (in musical terms) Sacros is a worthy reissue. Some spirits cannot be "disappeared." (by Duncan Edwards)..............

Sacros won the 1968 Chilean schools contest for "beat" groups. Five years later they recorded their only record: this Latin American country rock hymn cycle inspired in part by ancient Mayan and Andean Gods. Released September 18, 1973, seven days after a military coup installed the dictator General Augusto Pinochet, most copies were destroyed in the subsequent crackdown.
Shadoks:
40 years ago, Sacros looked set for success, at least in their native land. They had won the national schools competition in their "carefully chosen look, dressing in black trousers with white lace shirts" and at the time of recording their debut (after numerous changes of personnel) they were a well-honed trio, having practised at the Divina Providence Church in exchange for "making an electric mass". Tomas Herrera was drumming, and Hernan Valdovinas was on bass sharing vocals with Patricio Panussis, one of the first 12-string guitarists in Chile.
This self-titled disc is a lovely cross-pollination. On one hand Sacros were friends with many priests and exposed to religious music; hence their name, "Sacred," on the other, they were hearing US electric folk influences such as The Byrds. Ironically, other US influences were at work in Chile, too. At the behest of Nixon and Kissinger, the CIA
were busy training the Chilean miltary, and funding anti-government strikes. Kissinger stated that "the issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves" and "I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its people." On September 11, 1973, the Chilean airforce bombed Santiago using British-made planes, and decades of murder, torture and other human rights abuses were set in motion. On the day of the coup, Salvador Allende took his own life. Poet and singer Victor Jara was held with thousands of others in the Chile Stadium where he was repeatedly beaten before being machine gunned. Before his death, Jara wrote a poem about the conditions in the stadium which was smuggled out in the shoe of a friend. And let me take this opportunity to point you to Robert Wyatt's version of Jara's "Te Recuerdo Amanda" ("I remember Amanda"). An estimated 200,000 people left Chile for exile. Two members of Sacros fled to Spain. Herrera quit music. Valdavinos became a renowned painter and only returned to his homeland post-Pinochet to play music again with his old friend Panussis. The latter had remained in Chile and subsequently formed the band Miel and also Musica Universal (unfortunately, a "new age" act). Henry Kissinger won the 1973 Nobel Peace prize.
So, for very good reason, then, this is an ultra-rare album. I listened to it with bated breath, as the early 1970s combination of spiritual and country rock styles might have come out sounding as dodgy as Spinal Tap meets the Gypsy Kings. Yet, with light production, restrained playing and gentle experimentation, Sacros has an integrity which modern attempts to create the analog sound can't match, and it always steers clear of the worst turgid excesses of the psychedlic rock era. The short opening piece "Aum" welcomes us to Chile in muted fashion, reverential voices to the fore. After that, in innocent contrast to the political events which would unfold, it is consistently breezy. As a non-Spanish speaker, I find the lyrics pleasantly mysterious but for all I know it's trite nonsense. No matter, this is a record I'll be enjoying for a while. Patricio Panussis's guitar playing at the start of "Iluso Que Suenos" has a hypnotic propulsive quality predicting Johnny Marr by about 25 years. A psychedelic ode to the Plumed Serpent "Quetzalcoatl," God of the Mayas, is also a highlight, but the truly transcendental track is "La Realidad" ("The Reality"). This piece is a perfect crescenso of infectious vocal melodies, thumping bass, and jangling guitar; from one West Coast to another. Chile Stadium is now named Estadio Victor Jara and (in musical terms) Sacros is a worthy reissue.
Some spirits cannot be "disappeared."..........Brainwashed.........

From Chile, 1973. LP in an edition of 450 numbered copies, with glossy heavy sleeve, 180 gram pressing, insert. "Sacros ('The Sacred') was a Chilean rock band inspired by the spiritual passion and veneration for the great gods of South America, such as Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, god of the ancient Mayas and Viracocha, Lord of Tiahuanaku in the Andes mountains. Sacros recorded the debut LP on the state label IRT and the production was destroyed by the militaries. Only very few copies survived from destruction. The music goes in the same direction as Los Jaivas, Los Blops and El Congreso (all from Chile) and Lula Cortez from Brazil. It has a great 12 string Rickenbacker sounds, effects, great vocals and rhythms with an experimental touch. You can call this easy one of the rarest albums from Latin America since only a handful of copies survived. Patricio Panussis (guitar & vocals) Hernan Valdovinos (bass & vocals) and Tomas R. Herrera (percussion). The band recorded only this one album in 1973."
Sacros ("The Sacred") was a Chilean rock band inspired by the spiritual passion and veneration for the great gods of South America, such as Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, god of the ancient Mayas and Viracocha, Lord of Tiahuanaku in the Andes mountains. Sacros identified with these gods from around the planet, with the energy of love and devotion for creativity. Sacros recorded this 1973 debut (their only record) on the state label IRT, and the production was destroyed by the military. Only a very few copies survived the destruction. The music goes in the same direction as Los Jaivas, Los Blops and El Congreso (all from Chile) and Lula Cortez from Brazil. It has great 12-string Rickenbacker sounds, effects, compelling vocals and rhythms with an experimental touch. You could easily call this one of the rarest albums from Latin America, since only a handful of copies survived. Sacros were a strange musical combination of country-rock mixed with Latin American flavor. They were loved by many. May the gods bless you all.
Forcedexposure....................

Sacros:
*Patricio Panussis (vocals, guitar)
*Hernan Valdovinos (vocals, bass instrument)
*Julio Numhauser, J. Carlos Carmona, Freddy Anriquez (vocals)
*Alejandro Rivers, Alejandro Rivera (quena
*Tomás de Herrera (percussion)

Tracklist
A1 Aum 0:26
A2 En Primavera 3:02
A3 Manos Duras 3:34
A4 La Realidad 3:57
A5 Paloma De Plumas Blancas 5:06
B1 Diosa Del Mar 2:38
B2 Quetzalcoatl 4:15
B3 Cobre, Pobres, Viejos 2:34
B4 Su Herencia 4:41
B5 Iluso Que Suenas 2:21

Sarofeen And Smoke "Sarofeen And Smoke"1971 US Psych Blues Rock







Sarofeen And Smoke  "Sarofeen And Smoke"1971 US Psych Blues Rock
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Sarofeen's vocal style has been compared to Janis Joplin, Ellen McIllwaine, & the Shocking Blue's (recently deceased) Mariska Veres, and if you like those vocalists you should give her a chance. Even if you don't like that heavy, bluesy 60's female vocal style you should still give it a try. Sarofeen & John Martin (especially the latter) wrote some excellent material for the album and the band  is strong:
Anne Sarofeen also performed on broadway in A Hard Job Being God and later recorded a second album (sans Smoke) entitled Love In A Woman's Heart, which I didn't find as good as this release. Smoke (& Sarofeen presumably) were originally from Auburn, NY, and at least one member of the band, guitarist Ed "Duke" Shanahan continues to perform in that area. He also recordedd with the band Siddhartha (for RCA) in the year before this release and has performed with blues and r&b legends like Muddy Waters, James Cotton, Bobby Comstock, & Bo Diddley.............

Other than the fact namesake Anne Sarofeen was apparently from Auburn, New York and the group's self-titled 1970 debut was released by the New York-based GWP label, I can't say I know much about the outfit. Produced by Andy Wiswell (Bobby Comstock handling arrangements), "Saforeen and Smoke" clearly sought to showcase Sarofeen, which was kind of a mixed blessing. We've seen a couple of reviews that compare her voice to Janis Joplin, or Fear Itself's Ellen McIllwaine and that seems to be the main selling point here. While it's true Sarofeen shared a rugged and bluesy vocal delivery, that's about as far as the comparison went. Moreover, if you thought Joplin had a tendency to over-sing, then you're liable to have major problems with material such as "Susan Jane", "Cream of Nowhere" and "You Make It So Hard". Maybe it's just me, but Sarofeen's voice also had a weird little quiver that proved particularly irritating. On a couple of tracks she actually sounded as if she were singing with an accent; in the process baring a mild resemblance to Mariska Veres whom some of you may remember as the lead singer for Shocking Blue - yeah the "Venus" band. Crap, forgot to mention there are also BS&T-styled horns on tracks such as "Lady Tragedy" and their cover of Martha Velez's "Swamp Man". So by now you should be wondering is there anything here worthwhile? To give credit where due, the backing from Smoke (bassist Dave Arliss, keyboardist John "Zilch" Martin, guitarist Ed "Duke" Shanahan and drummer Jim Watts) was never less than impressive. Shanahan redeemed himself with several nice guitar solos, though the dreaded horns frequently all but drowned him out ("Cream of Nowhere"). In spite of those earlier slams, we'll readily admit Sarforeen herself had a couple of nice moments - particularly when she settled back into second gear - to hear her at her best check out the ballad "It's Love" and the mid-tempo rocker "Witch"....Bad Cat...........

Yes, yes, I am still sick, there is such a protracted muck, which, it would seem, is almost harmless, but it complicates life. Nevertheless, she is life, and continues to get acquainted with two albums of a wonderful vocalist, Anne Sarofin. Ie, I'm not sure that the long "e" in the surname of our Ani allows us to pronounce it in this way and even suspect that there are some Armenian roots there, but as it turned out, do not blame me. By the way, in Syracuse (New York) this name is quite common and I'm almost sure that all these Sarofeen_and_Smoke_1970.jpg people of our today's heroine, popping up on the Net - businessmen, managers and various ordinary mortals - relatives and, possibly, members of what Something of a glorious local dynasty. But to cultivate and carefully water the genealogical tree, there is neither time nor desire, so let's move on to music. If you did not miss Fear Itself, a publication from 24.12.2008, then you will understand approximately what is at stake, as the style and voice sound like our old friend, Ellen McIlvine (McIlvine), and for me personally this is a sign of quality. There is already no strong hippie spirit that was felt in the earlier record of Fear Itself and the blues base is much more concrete, but some compositions from there, for example. For Suki, they could be on the plate of today's and would be perfectly harmonious
Next to the other things.

Psychedelic, sometimes dreamy, sometimes quite aggressive blues, with serious blotches of folk, here and there - jazz, an excellent work of the guitarist - a native of the same Syracuse, Ed Shenahen. Both records are deep, sensual, not superficial, very strong and in my opinion, could stand if not in the first row of the musical heroes of the generation, then in the second officer's rank - exactly.

I do not know how Anna's future fate was, but in one of the local newspaper's numbers, Syracuse New Times for 2012 found an announcement announcement about the performance of the blues band with the guitarist ... Ed Schenaken. Keep it up, veteran!

Strictly recommended to all fans of folk, blues, good female vocals.

Opener Susan Jane from the first longplay.................

Personnel:
Anne Sarofeen — vocals
Ed «Duke» Shanahan — lead guitar
Dave Arliss — bass
John «Zilch» Martin — keyboards, harmonica, guitar
Jim Watts — drums

Tracklist
A1 Susan Jane
A2 Cream Of Nowhere
A3 It's Love
A4 Lady Tragedy
A5 Swamp Man
B1 You Make It So Hard
B2 Witch
B3 Tomorrow
B4 Rocky Mountain Blues

Alan Sorrenti "Aria" 1972 Italy Prog Folk Rock










Alan Sorrenti  "Aria" 1972 Italy Prog Folk Rock
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Aria is justly considered as a hell of an album by many italian prog lovers. It is the debut work of this peculiar artist who started as a pure prog singer-songwriter and, just after three records, completely changed his musical behaviour becoming a disco-music hero! Yes, it’s crazy and unusual. Almost a sacrilege… 
Aria is also the splendid long epic that fills the whole first side and is an astonishing piece of art of over 19,40 minutes! Very hard to get into for its complex vocals intrigue and probably it cannot be everyone’s cup of tea. He was also compared as the one who eat a mellotron. So strange appeared to the audience his adventurous experimental way of singing and buildind such a - mainly - acoustic opus. Mellotron (his voice apart), hammond and synth harp are here, but never loudly, never shadowing vocals and acoustic intruments. Alan Sorrenti is also compared to Tim Buckley for the extended vocal harmonies. 

I use to listen to this album very often ‘cause it part dark and sinister, part melodic, warm and melancholic. Still hard though but I tell you this: a pleasant experience enriched by the wonderful contribution of JEAN LUC PONTY on violin in the self titled epic. A memorable performance! 

Lyrics are also excellent and poetic, in my humble opinion with dreamy and fantastic imaginery of love, lost and (almost) unreachable. 

Second side feature four shorter tunes still of high standard of quality as for the soft and gentle “Vorrei Incontarti” (5,00 minutes). His most melancholic contribution to the world. Fantastic! A simpler tune, but intimate, polite and relaxing as few really are. The other tracks are worth istenings, but, hey, not for mainstream prog lovers… 

I fear this album. It is great and terrible listening art the very same time. Anguishing!…… by Andrea Cortese …………… 
In a strange decision, yesterday i was having a look to the Alan Sorrenti´s page here in PA, the fact is that i had also the idea of reviewing Aria, though i first had a look to the single that comes from this studio album, which features 2 songs and decided to review it first, that single contains the second and fourth songs of Aria, maybe i found it easy or i dont know but in order to have the same thoughts written, i will stole from my own review what i wrote about those songs and put it here, hope that doesn´t bother you. 

Alan Sorrenti, luckily, could left an album that is memorable to Italian progheads and non-Italian ones who know Aria, i said luckily because this was actually the only album of hims who had a recognized success due to its uniqueness, sadly, after the release of this album he could not reach the same level with the other ones, and his music became pop and not so good, anyway what this magnific album offers is a mix of avant-gardism oriented passages with folk tones and even some experimental jazz moments, those things is what makes this album different, special, unique, i wish he was followed the same pattern in order to create other albums like this, but anyway, sometimes we can get enough with only one album, why should we want more. 

This album has 4 songs, the first one is by far the best and most ambitious composition which lasts almost 20 minutes!, this song alone is really a worth listening, believe me, it starts with a very melodic sound but something strange happens that since the first minutes it caughts my total attention and shows that is not the classic RPI album, it is different, very experimental and avant-garde to be from 1972, when probably Italian prog scene was having glorious moments, the voice of Sorrenti is also unique and awesome, he has his own style which is not easy to dig, trhoughout this long song we will find some calm and melodic passages, others which shows his vocals with a more chaotic feeling, also we can listen to a nice variety of instruments such as violin or mellotron (besides guitars ,drums, bass etc, you know), some dramatic changes in the song with a dark atmosphere provoked by his vocals and the texture of the music. Overall a unique and magnific song, you will be amazed. 

The second song is the first one who appears in the single “Vorrei Incontrati” with almost 5 minutes of lenght is a beautiful song, very pastoral with a delicate and beautiful voice as well, also as i am a lover of Italian language, then i enjoy more this kind of songs, the pronunciation for me is beautiful, the song has a lovely acoustic guitar and a very relaxing mood, we can listen to accordeon there. 

Then “La Mia Mente” is another great song, with again acoustic guitar and his voice making some noises here and there, it also has a very progressive flavour due to its piano sound and the bass notes, it has a very jazzy style when piano and trumpet sound each one in his own but that is what i like of this style, not in the same channel but at the same time together, another good song here. 

And the last is “Un Fiume Tranquilo” this time we can hear a more intense song starting with piano notes and then the vocals (beautiful vocals) and a total progressive flavour which you can notice due to the synths work, there are also a trombone sound but the song is still pastoral, there are some moments that the vocals may remind you to Peter Hammill, so you know wheter to give a try to it or not, then the song has a change and the acoustic guitars appears. 

I have finished, this album deserves 5 stars just for its uniqueness, it is difficult to find another album like this, but since i consider it a difficult album i believe some people could not enjoy it as i do, so 4 stars would be better, excellent addition to any prog lover and highly recommended! 

Enjoy and love it! (or not)……………by memowakeman …………… 
Released in 1972, the golden year of the original prog movement, Aria is probably the least 'Italian’ of the classic RPI albums - and that in spite of Alan Sorrenti’s Neapolitan background. However, Alan was born in Wales, his mother’s country of origin, therefore his Mediterranean roots find themselves entangled with the equally old, fascinating Celtic tradition. Because of that, his debut album is one of the most intriguing, distinctive offerings to come out of Italy, and possibly everywhere else, both on account of the music - a heady, mesmerizing blend of various ethnic influences - and his unique voice. His singing style, often compared to folk legend Tim Buckley, is definitely over-the-top, but not in the way RPI singers are generally known to be. Actually, the best comparisons on the Italian scene would be his sister Jenny (of Saint Just fame), and possibly Battiato, at least as regards the Eastern flavour of many of his vocal performances. 
As is the case of many other albums of that time, the A-side of the original edition of Aria is taken up by the eponymous, almost 20-minute-long suite, while the B-side is comprised of three shorter tracks. The album is primarily acoustic, though both of the iconic keyboard instruments of the era, the Hammond organ and the mellotron, are featured. The best-known of Sorrenti’s collaborators is gifted, Naples-born drummer and percussionist Antonio (Tony) Esposito, who would go on to become a famous session man and solo artist, and would also perform on Aria’s follow-up, Come un vecchio incensiere all'alba di un villaggio deserto, as well as on Perigeo’s La Valle dei Templi. 

Aria, the song, is an intoxicating slice of music dominated by Jean-Luc Ponty’s magical violin, a perfect foil for Sorrenti’s soaring voice, an instrument in itself. World-music influences are thick on the ground - Celtic, Spanish (there is a sequence featuring flamenco-style guitar and castanets), Indian, Middle Eastern, and more. The music somehow reflects the eerie beauty of the blue-toned cover, one of the most striking yet tasteful to come out of the original prog era: it is at the same time dark and uplifting, mystical and experimental, soothing and demanding. Undoubtedly, Alan’s voice is very much of an acquired taste, and some listeners may find it irritating after a while. Here, it is still relatively restrained, while he went decidedly overboard on Incensiere, some parts of which are really a bit hard to take. 

After such an exhilarating listening experience, the exquisite, romantic ballad Vorrei incontrarti provides a kind of respite. The song was released as a single, and often played on the radio. I remember singing along to the strumming of some friend, during weekend trips to the country. As simple a song as it is, Alan’s vocals and guitarist Vittorio Nazzaro’s delicate playing take it to a higher level, together with the presence of that ultimately romantic instrument, the accordion. The last two songs, La mia mente and Un fiume tranquillo, are longer and more complex, partly reprising the atmospheres of the title-track (though somewhat less successfully), with stunning instrumental performances (check Tony Esposito’s fantastic drumming on Un fiume tranquillo) and vocal flights of fancy. 

Aria was one of the albums I encountered right at the time of its release, as a 12-year-old girl who was then getting into more 'serious’ music. It left a lasting imprint, and I was happy to 'find’ it again when my beloved husband (a huge fan of RPI in spite of his American origins) came into my life. Alan Sorrenti’s music intrigued me right from the word 'go’, and I was utterly devastated by his sudden U-turn in the mid-Seventies, when he became a very successful pop-disco artist. Talk about a waste of talent… Those later albums would make even Genesis’ pop output sound like Close to the Edge. 

Even if Sorrenti eventually decided to turn away from progressive music, his first three albums are a must for everyone interested in Italian prog, and Aria is something every prog fan should listen to at least once. It does have its flaws, though, and this is why I would rather not give it the highest rating, and go for 4 stars with the addition of a virtual half-one. However, even without the full 5 stars, it is a mesmerizing piece of music, and an authentically progressive one. Very highly recommended. ……… by Raff ……………. 

What a voice this guy’s got, and just as wondersome as his sister Jenny. Is it because they had Welsh roots (mother’s side) and the weird mix with his Napolitan upbringing? Who knows, but one thing is sure, if you don’t like vocal experimentations, then stay away from the Sorrenti’s, at least in their early career. Sisdter Jenny had a good start with the short-lived Saint Just group, than released a solo effort, before slipping from my radar, while Alan started with stupendous solo albums, but by the mid-decade had veered disco and pop. His solid gatefold debut release is probably one of the more striking one from these year on the peninsula and he certainly had some important musical help, including drummer Esposito (already involved with St Just) and some Spanish and French guests including Ponty on violin, but Clearly the man in the shadow is Albert Prince on keys and arrangements. 
Alan’s voice and how he uses it as an instrument is a strange mix of Peter Hammill, Robert Wyatt and the utmost experimental Tim Buckley. And there is no doubt Sorrenti heard all three to dare being so audacious from his first album onwards. And does Alan ever leave his voice rip it up throughout the opening side on the epic sidelong title track. Along with Ponty’s brilliant violin interventions, Aria is a stunning piece of music, sometimes curdling your blood because of Alan’s voice ramblings. Starting on winds, discreet mellotron and Alan’s acoustic guitar, it’s almost an enchanted evening; if it wasn’t for the glacial choirs in the background until Prince’s piano enters the fold. Then Alan’s voice smoothly glides from spellbinding to first worrrysome, then menacing tone and soon becomes demented if not diabolical, shifting between Hammill’s tone with Buckley’s range and control and sometimes Flamenco, soon wiped by Prince’s keyboards. At one point, with Ponty’s violin work, we can think of the eeriness of Comus’ First Utterances. Yes, that good and that weird. At other times, we’re close to the mythic Starsailor or Lorca albums, and even a bit of Rock Bottom (via his voice, but also the trumpet playing). What do you mean you’re not at the records shop yet??? 

The flipside is less thrilling with three shorter songs, of which only one doesn’t really belong here. The opening Vorrei Incontrati is a calm pastoral folk song a bit similar to Crimson’s I Talk To The Wind and holds the same function in a demented album, to give you breath of fresh air before returning to insane times. I will take a point of saying I don’t enjoy the accordion bit, though. The following Mia Mente returns to the glacial background choirs at the start of the title track and add a superb bass line and later trons of mello, but Sorrenti’s voice must wait Prince’s piano to unleash itself in a Hammill style, both taking the insanity plunge in a rock-bottomed well, saved by the lighthouse keeper. Just as stunning as the title track, even if returning to it a bit too systematically: in a way, you could say that the 19-mins+ epic can be condensed into Mia Mente. As for the closing Fiume Tranquillo; it starts with a bowed bass (love it) and early Hammill-ian vocals (both solo and Graaf) and proceeds to its own adventures with a trombone and some excellent Esposito drumming, and smùoothly dying in pastoral sounds soon becoming nightmarish. 

Certainly worth the investigation with his second album in tow, Sorrenti’s Aria is one unconventional album out of the Italian Peninsula. It’s actually a wonder how Alan could veer disco with such an experimental start. Anyway, an amazing album, and one of the most experimental from the Italian boot, along with early Battiato. Stay away if you don’t like vocal digression, but if you don’t mind a bit of adventure aria should just about do it for you………by Sean Trane ……… 
As far as the 70’s Ital-Prog scene one of the clear standout album IMHO is Sorrenti’s ARIA. A strange dream-like folky prog album for sure with the centrepiece superlative enigmatic vocal escapades of Alan Sorrenti. The 70’s Ital-Prog scene was watermarked with creative and many unusual yet strong and beautiful vocalists (ie.Francesco Di Giacomo, Demetrio Stratos, Gianni Leone, Linio Vairetti). One could and should add Sorrenti’s name to this long list and one listen to the 20 Min epic title track “ARIA” will clearly encapsulate you deep into this album ! Sorrenti is supported by a great band that includes the e-bow master Jean-Luc Ponty ! Musically this album ebbs and flows from Genesis-like progressions to the folk solemness of Nick Drake…all surrounded by the theatrical and powerful voice of Alan Sorrenti. Absolutely essential for any fan fo 70’s Ital-Prog…..by loserboy …………. 
ALAN SORRENTI was and is a singer and composer who was born in Naples, Italy to a Welsh mother and spent as much time in the city of Aberystwiyth, Wales as in his native born Italy. As a result SORRENTI became fluent in both Italian and English languages and culture. While he would release a very sizable discography since his debut album in 1972, in 1976 he abandoned his early flirtations with progressive and psychedelic folk rock of his first few albums and jumped into full-on dance music. ARIA is his debut and fits firmly within the eclectic progressive rock arena that displays a whole plethora of musical influences including a healthy dose not only freak folk that meets psychedelic rock but shows his affinity with the progressive Italian rock scene as well as the most obvious influence of all, namely, early 70s Peter Hammill in the form of Van Der Graaf Generator. In fact SORRENTI almost perfectly mimics Hammill’s vocal style only with an Italian flair. Understandable that SORRENTI would have been exposed to VDGG as Italy was the country where they experienced their greatest success. ARIA is in a way paying homage to the great UK eclectic prog band that found its home in a distant land. 
The 19 minute and 45 minute title track begins the album and not only swallows half the album but mimics many a great of the day with not only Hammill style vocal acrobatics along with his singer / songwriter skills that were so prominent in VDGG but also the progressive freak folk instrumentation of Comus which comes to mind as the instrumentation comprises mostly of acoustic guitars accompanied by the brilliant violin playing skills of guest musician Jean Luc Ponty. There are also plenty of Hammond organs and mellotrons to create a thick lysergic atmosphere that enriches all the twists and turns of the song structure. While the VDGG and Hammill comparisons may lead one to expect a rock experience, this is first and foremost a psychedelic folk album that never once delivers an electric guitar riff or solo but rather incorporates a rich tapestry of acoustic and classical guitars and on this title track even ventures into the gypsy foot stomping territory of Spanish flamenco all the while SORRENTI’s vocals do their own little dances around the melodic developments. 

While the musical deliveries on ARIA are top notch, it is truly SORRENTI’s vocals that are the star of the show here. As the liner notes explain: “SORRENTI’s voice is treated with effects that compliment his experimental tendencies. Lines rise to crescendo and echo wildly in space. Falsettos tremble and vibrate. Lyrics disintegrate into exultation where SORRENTI’s voice mutates into a musical instrument. Words are gently warbled, caressed, cosseted, vibrated and violently expunged. Styles of music melt and congeal together.” I couldn’t possibly top this first-rate description of the vocals, so i won’t even try. The fact is this album comes off as if it were a long lost psychedelic recording of Van Der Graaf Generator. This is a dilemma for me as i find the album quite the brilliant experience but am a little put off by the blatant Hammilisms expressed in every musical cadence throughout the album despite the lyrics being totally penned in the Italian language. Some remaining short tracks to have more of an Italian feel and less of the VDGG textures. “La Mia Mente” actually has more of a Robert Plant feel. 

Overall i’d have to say that i dig this album more than feel any sense of animosity. Yes, the influences are more than worn on the sleeve and stand out strong and bold, but SORRENTI actually has a more varied vocal style than Hammill and the music despite feeling like a counterpart in some alternative universe of the VDGG experience still manages to be captivating and complex with many instrumental workouts underneath the strident and bravado filled vocals that dominate the soundscape. The listener is treated to a plethora of keyboards and acoustic guitars, bow bass and trombone, trumpet and synth harp. Despite my usual resistance to give albums that take the influence thing a little too far, i have to admit that i find this particular release more than mesmerizing. This really is worth hearing over and over again…..by siLLy puPPy …….. 

If ever an artist might have been influenced by Tim Buckley’s avant-garde period – or, put another way, if ever there were such a thing as an Italian Tim Buckley – the evidence might have been Alan Sorrenti’s 1972 album Aria. Though he’s not an explicit Buckley imitator, certainly Sorrenti does share some notable characteristics of the style Buckley employed on his late-'60s/early-'70s albums Lorca and Starsailor. There’s the wide vocal range; the unpredictable leaps around that range, sometimes to blood-curdlingly high notes, and at others to stream-of-consciousness speaking-in-tongues-like phrasing; and the impossible-to-pigeonhole shifting of the musical accompaniment between somber folk-rock and avant-garde jazz. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the nearly 20-minute title track, which moves from a tranquil, spacy instrumental opening evoking empty windy fields to tortuous jazz-rock fusion/improvisation. A prominent, virtuosic violin part from guest musician Jean-Luc Ponty adds tension as Sorrenti ascends and descends the vocal register with quivers and shakes, like a man in the midst of an anxiety attack. It’s not all angst, though, flitting back and forth between serene, almost sentimentally folky sections and ones in which things get antsy all over again. While the other three tracks on the record aren’t nearly as epochal, they too are an unnerving blend of wistful (if slightly edgy) troubadour folk-rock, jazzy instrumental accents, almost experimental jazz-rock improv, gothic dissonance, and a certain sense of pained falling-into-the-black-hole distress to both the melodies and Sorrenti’s vocals. For international listeners, this is perhaps even less accessible than Tim Buckley’s out-there stuff, as Sorrenti (though part Welsh) is singing in Italian, not English. It’s undeniably impressive and original, however, if perhaps more something to admire than to play over and over, such is its oddball intensity……by Richie Unterberger ………….. 

Few records were able to break through a music scene as “Aria” by Alan Sorrenti. It was 1972, Progressive Rock was at its peak, and basically out of nowhere appeared, as a lightning from a blue sky – on EMI / Harvest record label among other things – Alan Sorrenti, a half-Welsh artist heading from Naples. Parsons Project, from Naples but half Welsh, from the mother. This is a debut album at the same level of Banco’s eponymous LP, P.F.M.‘s “Storia di un minuto” or Area’s “Arbeit Macht Frei”. 

The album, it must be said, is not too much accessible for everyone, due in particular to the 20-minute long suite that occupies the entire first side: it sounds like a stream of consciousness transposed into music, with a high dose of improvisation, especially as it regards Sorrenti’s voice. When you start at the highest levels is difficult to keep on the same, and in fact Alan would never be able to reach the same incredible heights of this LP, today considered a masterpiece of Italian prog, and at the time of its release, perhaps with astonishment by the same artist, incensed by critics and consequently by the public. Sorrenti was among the first ones to use the voice as an instrument, even before Demetrio Stratos in the aforementioned Area; he was also one of the few solo artists to excel in a world, that of the progressive rock, almost exclusively reserved to bands. Among the various guests, the most famous is undoubtedly the French Jean-Luc Ponty, whose contribution on violin embellishes this record’s title-track. 

This reissue is identical to the original 1972 one in its artwork, and makes available again in LP format an album that, despite its popularity, is very difficult to find even in the most recent reprints. A welcome return, another ‘must-have’ for Italian prog listeners!……………. 

The avantgarde Aria is the first album from Sorrenti. Originally released in 1972 on Harvest, it opens with the long title track, which occupied all of side A of the original vinyl. It’s a dreamy suite that starts with acoustic guitar, ends with a remarkable violin solo from future Mahavishnu Orchestra member Jean Luc Ponty and features the incredible instrument-like voice of Sorrenti. Creating a blend of folk renderings with a melodic, avant-garde jazz backdrop, Sorrenti has rendered a vocal tapestry on par with anything Van Morrison or Tim Buckley has committed to tape. …………. 


Line-up / Musicians 
- Alan Sorrenti / vocals and acoustic guitar 
- Antonio Esposito / drums and percussions 
- Vittorio Nazzaro / bass guitar and lead classic guitar 
- Albert Prince / organ hammond, accordion, mellotron, synth harp 
- Tony Bonfilis / bow bass 
- Jean Costa / trombone 
- André Lajdi / trumpet 
- Martin Paratore / spanish dancer 

Guest musician: 
- Jean Luc Ponty / violin 

Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Aria (19:49) 
2. Vorrei Incontrarti (4:58) 
3. La Mia Mente (7:36) 
4. Un Fiume Tranquillo (8:01) 

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