Baba Yoga — L'Uomo Progressivo
(AMS 298, 2018, CD / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-02-27
Baba Yoga is an intentional misspelling of the 1973 movie Baba Yaga, based on the adventures of Guido Crepax's comic book character Valentina. This new Italian prog band is the collaboration between Gianfranco Salvatore (vocals, synths, guitar, bass, etc.) and Danilo Cherni (keyboards), both of whom have long musical careers, plus a list of guest musicians from 70s Italian prog rock scene: Vittoria Nocenzi (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso), Luciano Regoli (Return Receipt), Peppe Servillo (Avion Travel), Fabio Pignatelli (Goblin), Alvaro Fella (Jumbo), Lino Vairetti (Osanna), and Derek Wilson (drummer for various 70s prog bands). Their debut album is L’Uomo Progressivo, a concept album with gorgeous artwork by Vincenzo Faraldo that captures the essence of 70s Italian prog rock. Though definitely progressive, Baba Yoga’s music is practically impossible to categorize as they incorporate a variety of styles: from country-blues to prog rock, from folk to songwriting, from popular ballads to Eastern music, from funk to neo-prog, with some occasional bits of electronic music. Personal favorites are the title track with its King Crimson similarities, “Flatus Vocis” with its barking dogs, gritty electronics, and prog jam, and “Come un Cavaliere Antico” that conjures images of a dancing marionette. Across the twelve tracks I detect similarities to Osanna, Opus Avantra, and Area. L’Uomo Progressivo is quite an impressive album that it sure to please all fans of 70s Italian prog rock.
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