Julius Paolo Lazzeri — Gothic Power
(Black Widow JPLGP 001-2, 2015, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-05-11
Julius Paolo Lazzeri is the fiery virtuoso organist with the Italian neo-progressive band Three Monks. Gothic Power is his latest solo effort, and what an apt name for this album. The performances on the eight instrumental tracks are electrifying from the very first note to the last dying chord. In between are full-bodied, grandiose cathedral organ toccati. The disc opens with the title track and it is immediately in your face with bombastic cathedral organ and understated drums. This piece contains a quiet central passage with a different timbre. The second track, “St. Bavo,” is another virtuosic original composition. When we make it to track 3 Lazzeri tones it down quite a bit for the tranquil and spiritual “La Vecchio Torre” with its Bach-like melody. Lazzeri is a master of the multi-keyboard organ and the magnificent music is rooted in the classics. But unlike Keith Emerson, I do not detect musical quotes from classical or rock composers. The one exception is “VDGG” that takes Van der Graff Generator’s “Theme One” to new heights through Lazzeri’s gothic power lens. “Stralund,” “Leon,” and the closing track, “The Sacred Fire,” are additional dazzling performances. Amidst these final tracks is a quiet moment of reflection unlike the other music on the disc, “Mysterious Dark Lady.” This is the only track on the album that does not feature the organ. Instead Lazzeri plays a slow, delicate, and quite exquisite harpsichord melody with a low-key organ outro. Given the massive nature of the music, my guess is that this music would be difficult to perform live, unless the concert was held in a cathedral. This disc is highly recommended for those who long for colossal organ recitals, you will not be disappointed.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more