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Alessandro Corvaglia — Out of the Gate
(AMS 330, 2021, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-11-23
One might be forgiven for not recognizing the name immediately, but as soon as he sings anyone who has listened to Italian progressive rock of the last twenty years or so will recognize his voice from somewhere. Indeed, Corvaglia has been the lead singer for La Maschera di Cera since their beginnings in 2002, as well as involvement with numerous other Zuffanti-related projects over the years (Hostsonaten, Merlin, the Rock Opera) and other bands like the reformed Delirium, Daedalus, Narrow Pass, and as a guest singer and player (guitar and keyboards) on even more releases. That said, Out of the Gate is Corvaglia’s first solo album, ten tracks nearly fifteen years in the making, all written by Corvaglia with the exception of Peter Hammill’s “Vision” and “12 Towers,” an instrumental number co-written with, and featuring guitarist Gordon Giltrap, on which Corvaglia plays bass guitar. Three other instrumentals appear among the album’s ten tracks, “The Night of the Eyes,” “...And the Lady Came In,” and “A Deed within a Dream,” which is Corvaglia’s tribute to the music and spirit of Gordon Giltrap, though Giltrap does not play on that one. From the opening grandeur of “Promised Land” right out to the twelve-minute widescreen epic closing title track, there are no dull spots on this album anywhere, but there is nonetheless quite a bit of variety within a solid progressive rock context. Throughout, in addition to his vocals (all sung in English), Corvaglia plays much of the instrumental parts — keyboards, bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, even electronic drums on one cut. Various others from Corvaglio’s circle of musician friends supply drums, flute, sax, electric guitar, piano, fretless bass, and more as required by the individual tracks, and not always the same players. One (of many) noteworthy tracks is “White Ghosts” where the entire band Il Giardino Onirico plays — a band that Corvaglia has worked with previously on their 2019 album Apofenia. Rafaella Izzo provides some outstanding backing vocals on the Peter Hammill tune, though she primarily plays flute on many of the other numbers. Out of the Gate is an exceptional album that should please any and all fans of classic progressive rock.
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