Altare Thotemico — Sogno Errando
(Ma.Ra.Cash Records , 2013, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-04-25When most of us think of Italian progressive rock, the first things that come to mind are likely bands like PFM, Banco, and Le Orme — all roughly part of what is generally called symphonic rock. But we shouldn't forget that from the beginning, there was more to Italian prog than that stream. Picchio dal Pozzo, Stormy Six, and Area were all great bands from Italy that had little in common with the symphonic style. Area is most relevant here, as Altare Thotemico are quite similar in many respects. They blur the line between jazz and rock, much as Area did, and also feature a male vocalist who delves into unnusual singing techniques (though not to the same degree as Demetrios Strato). In addition to Gianni Venturi's singing, the keyboards of Leonardo Caligiuri are the most notable presence, with piano being the most common instrument. There are moments when electric piano and synthesizer are used, but they are much less frequent than piano. Saxophone (Emiliano Vernizzi) and violin (Gabriele Toscani) cover both lead and backing parts; the rhythm section of Valerio Venturi (bass) and Max Govoni (drums) keep things on the jazzy side even when the compositions stray a little more to the rock side of the road. Sogno Errando is a refreshing set of music, both fun (Though the lyrics seem to have plenty of broken hearts and other torments, they're mostly in Italian, so it's not obvious.) and musically engaging. It's great to hear a band forging their own path, and doing it so well.
Related artist(s): Altare Thotemico
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more