Arti + Mestieri — Giro di Valzer per Domani
(Cramps Records 88843073662, 1975/2014, CD)
Arti e Mestieri — Tilt - Immagini per un Orecchio
(VM 004, 1974/1989, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, 2016-08-18:
McLatchey's Second Tier
I was about to write that there aren't too many debuts as powerful as this title by Italians Arti e Mesteri but then I realized I had just written about Änglagård and Area. Anyway, I've sort of gotten used to thinking of AeM as a jazz rock or fusion group because if you look at their long discography it really does seem to be their ballpark even on the live material where they dip back into this one. Tilt was in many ways a symphonic progressive rock album played by jazz musicians. It didn't introduce drummer Furio Chirico (I believe you'd have to go back to The Trip for that), but it did solidify his place as one of the world's truly great practitioners, a man who attacks his kit like a whirlwind and could have easily been as well known as Billy Cobham or Lenny White in an alternate universe. Tilt has such swing to it with a soaring, positive sense of melody provided by guitar, keys, violin, and sax that provided a really diverse range of moods. It's also a pretty solid Mellotron album and there is an atmosphere and depth to it that the later albums had lost. It definitely has to be considered one of the high points of the Italian progressive rock genre in the 70s.
by Mike Taylor, 1994-02-01:
Much ink has been spilled about the drumming of Furio Chirico and for good reason: the guy is phenomenal. He is all over the place using all available musical space yet is never bombastic or overbearing. The music on Tilt and Giro di Valzer per Domani is generally pretty similar, though there are some differences. For the most part, I'm reminded of Ponty-era Mahavishnu Orchestra with violin and guitar trading licks against the non-stop riffing of Chirico. The guitar player, Gigi Venegoni, shows some nice McLaughlin influences with fiery guitar runs burning up the tune while the soaring violin adds more fuel to the flame. Add in some saxophone to round out the sound, the style perhaps a bit reminiscent of Elton Dean's playing with Soft Machine or Wayne Shorter from Miles Davis and Weather Report. Tilt has a slightly more symphonic edge, though still very much fusion, because the keyboard work is featured a bit more. The keys lean toward the lush end of the spectrum, hence the symphonic edge. Vocals are found on a few songs on each album; though a full-time singer is found on Giro..., he can be heard only on approximately one-third of the songs. Highly recommended to all fusion fans.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more