Arti e Mestieri — Quinto Stato
(Cramps Records CRSCD 014, 1979/2002, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01
Formed by ex-Trip drummer Furio Chirico, Arti e Mestieri was one of Italy's best jazz-rock / fusion bands (certainly equal to Perigeo and Area), and they launched their career with two classic albums, Tilt and Giro di Valzer per Domani in '74 and '75 respectively (see previous reviews). The band played live through '76 and then faded from the scene. The band resurfaced with Quinto Stato in 1979, but the lineup and the sound had changed considerably in the interim. Chirico is still there, but original keyboardist Beppe Crovella and violinist Giovanni Vigliar are nowhere to be found, and original guitarist Venegoni only guests on a couple tracks. As a result, their sound morphed into a more streamlined and funky jazz-fusion style, losing some of its early delicacy. In addition, new singer Rudy Passuello has a far more aggressive delivery and dominates the music on the tracks where he sings. Four of the album's eight tracks are purely instrumental, and on those the band still shines brilliantly, even though it's in the new style. In short, this isn't a bad album, but it doesn't live up to the standard set by their first two.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more