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Bella Band —
(Strange Days Records POCE-1146, 1978/2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

 Cover art

Smokin' hot fusion is the specialty delivered by this instrumental five-piece of keys, winds, guitar, bass, and drums from Firenze. Comparable to some other Italian jazz-rock bands like Perigeo and Il Baricentro, Bella Band takes the art a step further, their music is filled with melodic warmth yet the energy level is blistering. Like Arti e Mestieri, there's never a dull moment on their only album Bella Band, originally released as Cramps 522 565-2 in 1978. It's certainly a big puzzle in my mind as to why a band this good would make one outstanding album and then just vanish. At the top end, Roberto Buoni's powerful sax, clarinet and flute propulsion dominate the mix, while guitars – a little less dominant, do get a healthy share of the solos, but also a lot of subliminal elaboration that keeps the mix interesting and vital. Keyboards (electric piano, synths) make a big contribution at both levels. The rhythm section – extremely tight and focused, keeps the energy at a high level throughout. While the entire album of four tracks barely clears 32 minutes, it can safely be said that these guys do their best to make every second count. In all, I can't recommend this one highly enough.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 2007 releases, 1978 recordings

Related artist(s): Bella Band

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