Exposé Online banner

Mamma Non Piangere — N.3
(AltrOck Productions ALT-051, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-08-21

N.3 Cover art

Near the top of the list of things you thought would never happen: a Mamma non Piangere (“Mama Don’t Cry”) reunion, after some 35 years. The band’s two LPs from the late 70s (one studio, one live) are so obscure that they’ve never even been flagged for reissue, two artifacts of the Italian Rock-In-Opposition scene nearly forgotten. But here they are again, back on the scene and seemingly in better form than ever. With bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Leddi at the compositional helm, many of the same players from that second live album Sempre Avanti a Testa Bassa are again with the band today, including Roberto Meroni (saxes and clarinets) and Luca Perreca (cello, electric bass, and voice). Lorenzo Leddi, for his part, covers all guitars, banjo, mandolin, mandocello, keyboards, accordion, and vocals. New faces are vocalist Laura Agostinelli, drummer Ferdinando Faraò, bassist Walter Prati, and saxophonist Maurizio del Monaco. Guest Tommaso Leddi (from Stormy Six, 1980 onward) offers percussion on only one track, but lends his compositional skills to three; other guests add keyboards, trombone, and tuba. So what we have here across the 13 tracks definitely draws its share of influence from Zappa in the wacky lyrics and many of the humorous sounding arrangements (lyrics are all in Italian, but the band has translated them to English in the CD booklet), but that doesn’t quite cover all the craziness. Folky, chamber, jazz, and classical elements abound within their sound (think Opus Avantra maybe) and touches of odd-meter stop-and-go nonsensical romps, all assembled with a very European flavor. Nothing here is abrasive or unpleasant in the slightest, just crazy and wacked out, with Agostinelli’s vocals tying it all together. In all, it’s great to hear this band playing together once again.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Mamma Non Piangere

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
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


Previously in Exposé...

Bone Cave Ballet - The Echo of Entropy – "Bone Cave Ballet" — what an evocative name. So many possible interpretations, all of them intriguing. The music itself has a similar quality, with lyrics that catch your imagination without lending...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues