Luigi Milanese — Closer to Heaven
(Black Widow LM002-02, 2016, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-02-25
Luigi Milanese is an Italian guitarist and composer who is just as adept on acoustic guitar and electric guitar as he is with orchestral compositions. His new album, Closer to Heaven, is primarily a collection of 10 instrumentals, with occasional vocals by Claudia Sanguineti. The music ranges from beautiful guitar ballads to acid folk to chamber music to hard rock. Along the way Luigi is accompanied by flute, cello, oboe, piano, synths, and percussion. There is enough variety to please most everyone and keep you hungering for more. The cello, of course, lends a mournful air to the compositions and one, “Aurora,” reminds me of Nick Drake’s “Day Is Done.” Not content to remain in a single genre in one piece, Luigi may begin an acoustic ballad and morph it into jazzy prog. And I detect a similarity to Alain Markusfeld on “Acoustic Rules.” Luigi also dabbles in experimentation, as on “Visions from the Well Part 1,” that begins with an orchestra playing the final bars of what sounds like a Stravinsky composition and audience applause. The applause fades into some groaning sounds that lead to acoustic guitar, cello, synth, and Frippian guitar work. I find it difficult to identify the outstanding tracks, the entire album is excellent. Highly recommended!
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more