Accordo dei Contrari — Violato Intatto
(no#, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 2017-08-27:
This exceptional four-piece from Bologna is a force to be reckoned with, at least since their second release, Kublai from 2011 (never having heard their 2007 debut, Kinesis) and each step since has brought the group forward to a point where with Violato Intatto, their fourth release, they are among the most impressive Italian progressive rock bands working today. Their name, which translated means “council of opposites” represents the madness to their method; each of the four players pushes and pulls in different directions, generating a cauldron of musical ideas that are powerful and at times fractured – in a good way – driving waves of aggression, tension, diffusion, and release. Giovanni Parmeggiani plays a dazzling array of keyboards, from electric piano, organ, and classic synths, to Mellotron, and is the principal composer of the group, while guitarist Marco Marzo drives the energy levels in different direction, adding color at every turn; drummer Cristian Franchi is the powerhouse that ties it all together, and even though the band has no singer (guest vocalist Patrizia Urbani guests on the dark and somewhat pensive “E Verde è l'ignoto su cui corri”), for all intents and purposes the lead voices of the band are the alto and baritone saxes of Stefano Radaelli, who alsp plays bowed zither. Other guests include Gabriele di Giulio, who adds tenor sax on a couple tracks, and Alessandro Bonetti, who adds violin on another. Their musical stew is an exciting and angular concoction of contrasts, sharp corners, hidden turns, and clever ideas, all woven together somewhere near the intersection of jazz and rock, with a dollop of Italian culture stirring the mix. If you could only buy one recording this year, Violato Intatto might well be the one worth seeking out.
by Henry Schneider, 2017-08-27:
Violato Intatto is my first exposure to this polished and powerful Italian band. Primarily an instrumental outfit, Accordo dei Contrari delivers a blistering set of finely wrought and engaging progressive jazz compositions. The band lineup is basically the same as their 2014 album AdC, except for Daniele Piccinini, who left to form Monkey Diet. Violato Inatatto is a top-tier album with strong performances by Giovanni Parmeggiani (keyboards), Stefano Radaelli (alto and baritone sax, plus bowed zither), Marco Marzo (electric and acoustic guitar), and Cristian Franchi (drums). You will notice they have no bassist on the album, but that does not detract from the music one iota. Their new sound relies heavily on sax, organ, and drums. Giovanni’s Hammond organ trumps Keith Emerson for inventiveness. Plus there is something for everyone on this album. Be it energetic progressive jazz fusion, extraordinary sax jamming, inspired violin passages by guest musician Alessandro Bonetti, Steve Hackett-era Genesis (“E verde è l'ignoto su cui corri”), expanded Frippian soundscapses, or the exquisitely beautiful and clangorous cathedral bells on “Marienkirche.” Accordo dei Contrari recorded Violato Intatto live in the studio, minimizing overdubs. Plus producer extraordinaire Udi Koomran mastered the album to create one of the top ten 2017 releases, if not the best. By all means necessary, grab a copy of the excellent disc, you will not be disappointed.
Related artist(s): Accordo dei Contrari
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