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Brunod / Li Calzi / Savoldelli

Nostalgia Progressiva

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing set. It features new rendition of various progressive rock based pieces, hence the title. These guys don't play it straight, though. Instead, they put in some intriguing arrangements that play on the originals, but add in jazz and electronic stylings. It's on the mellow side, but don't take that as uninspired, as these guys really do get passionate and rock out quite a bit. The main source for their musical selections is King Crimson, with the bulk coming from that catalog, but they also touch on artists as far reaching as the Beatles and Le Orme.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Formentera Lady
An almost mysterious electronic sound opens this. The vocals come in over the top of that backdrop. As lines seem to replace the previous ones, there is an almost psychedelic texture to this album. Acoustic guitar joins after a time, and the cut continues in mellow modes. Some percussive elements of the electronic variety join before the minute-and-a-half mark. The cut continues growing from there, getting a bit noisier and more involved before working to more psychedelic, mellow lushness. More of that percussive texture returns later, and they work out into a cool, trippy and rather sublime jam. This is slow moving, fairly mellow, but also very cool. There is almost a jazz element to it. When it gets more into some distorted territory there are some hints of world music in the mix. Some scat singing type stuff emerges later. The cut rises into electronic meets prog zones as it continues. I'm reminded a bit of Herbie Hancock's electronic period in some ways.
Matte Kudusai

This is a big change from the original King Crimson version. It's delivered with acoustic guitar, voice and horn. It's definitely not a ballad, but the arrangement is stripped back. The vocals and the whole delivery still manages to rock, though.

Tomorrow Never Knows
Some weird backwards electronic show up near the beginning of this, both approximating and updating the concept of the original. The song has an intriguing electronics meet rock music approach. This is suitably strange and trippy. Yet, it still rocks and has plenty of progressive rock in the mix. They take it in some tastefully weird directions.
Shipbuilding
Percussion leads this into being. Acoustic guitar joins, creating a pretty melody. Vocals come in with an almost jazzy texture.
Radio Activity
This is one of the coolest cuts here. Electronic texture merge with an almost folk rock kind of vibe as this moves outward. It gets noisier and decidedly weird further down the road. This becomes dense and rather oddly hypnotic as it continues. Eventually, everything else drops away leaving just the acoustic guitar to end it.
I Talk To the Wind / Roots
Starting with acoustic guitar, there is an almost jazzy element as the classic King Crimson song begins and starts working forward. As it approaches the half-way mark, it shifts gears completely getting into a cool electronic meets fusion kind of approach. This is weird, but so tasty. Some scat singing emerges, and they take it into definite jazz zones.
Starless
They bring this Crimson classic in with style, mellow modes serve as the backdrop for the first vocals. Then the acoustic guitar delivers the familiar melodies. The horn rises up as the saxophone is expected to perform its duty. Eventually it works out to more exploratory zones  with more scat styled singing. The guitar sound on that section is decidedly Fripp-like.
Taranaki
Acoustic guitar is at the heart of the first portion of this piece, delivering a jazz turned classical concept. Electronic sounds take control for a time. The guitar returns bringing it into sort of a modern take on George Benson. The vocals on this take on more of that scat approach.  There are some dramatic melodic explorations from the instrument, running from electronic to analog. This is the most purely jazzy number here, but even then the electronics bring a different angle to it. Freaky electronics take over at the end.
Moonchild
The familiar acoustic guitar elements bring this into being. The cut works out from there in a fairly faithful approach. After the first vocal movement, though, a horn heralds a shift toward a more jazzy mode. They work this out after a time into some seriously trippy, jazz meets psychedelic territory. The original King Crimson number has some odd explorations mid-track, and I prefer this to that, really.
Gioco di bimba
Coming in lush, yet fairly mellow, acoustic guitar rises upward as it moves forward. The cut works out to more of a powered up and jazzy excursion. It's still steeped in electronic textures. The vocals are in Italian. The number has some intriguing shifts and turns, and some very lush moments. 
 
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