Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Originally released in 1975 on the Produttori Associati label. A full-bodied attempt at richly arranged symphonic progressive rock. Includes two bonus tracks 'Il Fischio Del Vapore' & 'Cono Di Gelato'. Original artwork. ... more »
Originally released in 1975 on the Produttori Associati label. A full-bodied attempt at richly arranged symphonic progressive rock. Includes two bonus tracks 'Il Fischio Del Vapore' & 'Cono Di Gelato'. Original artwork. Packaged in a mini gatefold LP sleeve.
Italian prog with a twist
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 04/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first track on this 1975 recording ("C'e un paese al mondo") opens with (1) some very Henry Cow-ish, slightly atonal acoustic piano, which then swiftly segues into; (2) a 45 second heavy jazz-rock guitar/bass/drum/piano jam, which then gently fades into; (3) a quiet, almost pastoral French horn/organ/bass section, which leads into; (4) the vocal section, which is followed by; (5) a clarinet solo over a walking bass line (Dixie-land jazz), and then into; (6) the traditional classically-influenced Italian symphonic progressive rock sound that we all know and love. That, by the way describes about 3 minutes of the first piece! The opening moments of the second piece (Fase) is just as incredible, as there does not appear to be any tonal center (I think). More specifically, the melodic line during the first 45 seconds or so is (at least to my ears) all over the place, never resolves, and creates great tension. All of this might conjure up images of Gentle Giant, which is at least in part true. However, whereas the music of Gentle Giant borrows heavily from medieval styles, is "dense" and "complicated" in the most contrived way, and irritatingly atonal and jagged, the music of Maxophone seamlessly stitches together disparate styles into a soft, very pleasant sounding, and richly arranged bit of symphonic progressive rock. The musicians are superb, actually having received formal training, and compose astoundingly complex pieces that are both beautiful and challenging, yet never purely academic. The bonus track "Il Fischio del Vapore" is excellent while "Cono di gelato" is just mediocre. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fans of symphonic prog in the style of Loccanda delle Fate yet looking for a change of pace."
A Stunning Diversity of Styles
C. F. Kemp | Pacific Grove, CA USA | 07/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fans who are looking to expand their experience of listening to classic Italian prog, but are hesitant to proceed, would be well served to check out Maxophone, one of the many one-album wonders that came out of Italy in the 1970s.
It's always hard to guess what other listeners will like, especially with complex music, but I feel pretty good about recommending Maxophone because the album spans such a variety of styles that there is something bound to please the listener's taste. In addition to the beautiful, lyrical classically influenced music the Italians are known for (and there's plenty of it on this album-some of it quite atmospheric), you'll catch snatches of everything from chorales, to hard-edged guitar, to "traditional" jazz, to driving sax, to vibraphone work reminiscent of Gentle Giant, to Dixieland Jazz (in this regard, Maxophone seems to reflect the tradition of American music-especially jazz-more than some of their contemporaries).
That Maxophone can be so versatile is, in part, due to the richness of their instrumentation. In addition to guitar, bass, drums, and keys, they use woodwinds and brass to create a diversity of moods and sounds not found on even some of the greatest Italian albums from the period.
There are two standout tracks here that can hold their own with any progressive rock every produced, the opening cut, "C'e Un Paese Al Mondo" and the cut which closed the original album track list, "Antiche Conclusioni Negre". They are epics (though not necessarily of epic length) containing more good musical ideas than some bands come up with in a career. Nor are they simply technical exercises. Some of the passages contained within are quite moving emotionally.
The second part of "Merzcanti Di Pazzie" is also a standout, what I would consider to be the perfect soundtrack to an interstellar traveler opening his spacecraft door to confront an alien, but indescribably beautiful, landscape. The two additions for the reissue, "Il Fischio Del Vapore" and "Cono Di Gelato" though simpler in construction-I think they were released as a two-sided single-are pleasant listens.
Those who grapple with Italian vocals will be happy to know that Maxophone's are relatively mellow, eschewing the operatic approach and often utilizing nice harmonies that serve the music well without intruding.
This is an album that takes a few listens to grasp, but continues to reveal new pleasures even after a dozen listenings. I don't think you'll be disappointed, even if you are fairly new to the genre.
Finally a progband far from the stereotypes of 70's prog
Lethe | Milan, Italy | 02/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the mid 70's Maxophone played an original jazz prog stuff with symphonic elements, sometimes in the vein of King Crimson and PFM, being anyway absolutely diverse and by avoiding also to emulate such those bands ... They were into the romantic prog stuff, but always according to a personal taste, which was helpful during their jazz excursion, by means of unusual instruments like horns, clarinets, trumpets and so on. Moreover in the istrumental track "Fase" you find a good "Frippian" guitar in between, alternated with classical breaks through; and naturally the english version of this album is equal to the original songwriting: in fact some english people told me that the english vocals are performed with a good english accent and it's OK for the international market... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ALONG WITH THE BEST STUFF FROM ARTI E MESTIERI!!"