Gleemen — Oltre... Lontano, Lontano
(Black Widow BWRCD 164-2 / BWR 164, 2013, CD / LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2014-04-29The history of the Gleemen goes all the way back to 1965 when guitarist Bambi Fossati got together with Maurizio Cassinelli (drums), Angelo Traverso (bass), and Marco Zoccheddu (guitarist who went on to Nuova Idea) to form the Gleemen. In 1970 they released their only album. The Gleemen morphed into Garybaldi in 1971. Over the years the original band members have remained musically active through a number of projects and then in 2013 Maurizio and Angelo revived the Gleemen to record and release their second album Oltre... Lontano, Lontano. They enlisted Bambi and Marco to complete the original lineup, plus added several younger musicians: Giampaolo Casu (guitars), Giovanni Pastorino (keyboards), and Mauro Culotta (guitars). To augment their sound, they brought in a bunch of guest musicians: Martin Grice (sax), Pino Nastasi (vocals and bass), Danila Piras (flute), Alessandro Paolini (acoustic bass), Roberto Piga (violin), Fabrizio Nuovilibri (bass), Carlo Olivieri (drums), and Luciano Ottonello (electric guitar). The result is an interesting mix of 70s blues rock and Italian progressive. In his youth Bambi was enamored with Jimi Hendrix and this current disc still shows the influence, especially on the outstanding “Schizoid Blues.” There are ten songs on this disc and the chosen running order is interesting. The first half is pretty straightforward 70s blues rock and Italian progressive. Then the remainder of the disc assumes a more acoustic atmosphere with some very pleasant songs that come very close to pop rock. The title track closes the disc with music very different from the other nine. There is some kind of Zydeco/Cajun vibe along with the Outlaw Country of Waylon, Willie, and the boys, as well as a bit of Tex Mex thrown in; all in all a pretty cool track. The disc shows that this song is 10:24 but it is over at the 7:04 mark. There is silence for about 30 seconds and then a different song fills in the remaining time. This is a pet peeve of mine. Why not make it a stand-alone song and credit it properly? Nevertheless, this hidden track is acoustic guitar and vocals calling to mind Le Orme. Overall, Oltre... is quite a good release for a second album after 40+ years, despite the cheezy cover art.
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more