Exposé Online banner

Semiramis — Frazz Live
(Black Widow BWR206, 2017, CD+DVD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-07-11

Frazz Live Cover art

In 1973, a one-and-done group of Italians in their mid-teens formed Semiramis and released Dedicato a Frazz, an amazingly complex and beautiful progressive album classic that no serious fan’s collection is complete without. The band centered around the nucleus of Maurizio Zarrillo (keyboards), and cousins Marcello Reddavide (bass) and Memmo Pulvano (drums). Pulvano had to leave the group because he was the only one with a full-time job, so they replaced him with Paolo Faenza. Semiramis had an intense string of live dates after the album release, but they broke up in 1974. Only their vocalist Michele Zarrillo, Maurizio’s younger brother, stayed active in music. Forty years later in 2013, narrator and acoustic guitarist Giampiero Artegiani and drummer Paolo Faenza announced a Semiramis reunion with original member Maurizio Zarrillo plus Vito Ardito (vocals), Rino Amato (keyboards and synths), Antonio Trapani (guitars), and Ivo MIleto (bass). Frazz Live, recorded live in Genova on April 22, 2017, is the last concert with Maurizio as he sadly passed away two months after the show. This live show on both CD and DVD documents Semiramis’ performance of their entire album Dedicato a Frazz, with additional Italian narrations by Giampiero introducing each track. Unfortunately, since I do not speak Italian, these narrations are lost on me. They also included two newer songs, one live and one in the studio, “Morire per Guarire” and “Mille Universi.” The performance is superb, showcasing Semiramis’ ageless symphonic / romantic Italian progressive rock. Ardito’s strong tenor breathes freshness into the music, with these aging musicians expertly navigating the intricate tempo and time signature changes, plus some guitar shredding. Back in the day, Semiramis were unique. But now, especially on the two new tracks, I detect some similarities to Lino Vairetti and Osanna. The CD by itself is a great way to experience the concert. The DVD provides the visual equivalent of being present, seeing raised cell phones recording the performance, but lacking the final track “Mille Universi.” Extra features include interviews with Diego Banchero (Il Segno del Comando); Gino Terribile, Giuseppe Terribile, and Franco Piccolini (Il Cerchio d’Oro), Mauro La Luce, Alberto Sgarlato (Flower Flesh), Giampero Artegiani, and Semiramis, unfortunately all in Italian without English subtitles. Putting that aside, Black Widow has done an otherwise outstanding job capturing and presenting this live performance.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Semiramis, Il Cerchio d'Oro, Flower Flesh, Il Segno del Comando

More info
http://semiramisband.bandcamp.com/album/frazz-live

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Light - The Story of Moses – This album sprouts directly from the treasure trove of Dutch prog rock, although it took a Spanish label to finally release it on CD. The music is inspired by the great classic composer Bach, but in...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues