Canzoniere del Lazio — Miradas
(Cramps Records 522 568-2, 1977/1994, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01
Part of what makes certain 'progressive' music interesting, especially that which hails from areas outside the US and UK, is the amount of the local culture that is applied to the music – in effect making it different and unique from others, offering a strong element of the ethnic folk music of that country or region. Such is the case with Canzoniere del Lazio, a powerful percussion-oriented sextet of sax/flute, violin/piano/voice, female lead vocalist, guitar/bass, drums, and percussion, with almost all the members doubling on additional percussion. Their album Miradas from 1977 is their best known legacy. The vocals are festive, bringing the music down to earth – and although I don't understand very much Italian, based on the liner notes I sense some political/philosophical messages at work here. The folk presence is strong on all of the five tracks, but no more so than on "Glorias," which has a strong North African flavor and a lively theme on violin that works throughout the entire ten minutes, tending to remind this writer of some of Alain Markusfeld's lengthy sorties from the late 70s. The last three tracks – "Zandamela," "Poeta" and "Mogadishu" – all have powerful African and latin percussion elements as part of their main impetus. In all, there are many good things to be said about this album, and listeners driven by rhythm should find plenty to enjoy here.
Related artist(s): Canzoniere del Lazio
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