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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Paper Charms: The Complete BBC Recordings 1974-1976

This 2-CD/DVD set from the good people at Esoteric Recordings released this year, contains the BBC Sessions that Premiata Forneria Marconi did from 1974 to 1976 at the time they were promoting The World Became the World, Cook, and Chocolate Kings. On the DVD, it includes three performances that the band did on the Old Grey Whistle Test hosted by "Whispering" Bob Harris that includes a promo film by their label Manticore and three live performances that is a real gem for fans to really sink into the realms of the Italian Prog band showing their heart and the instruments to give it 100 percent.

On the 2-CD set, the band recorded two performances at the BBC Paris Theatre which was known as Paris studios located at the Lower Regent Street in London, was hosted by Pete Drummond. Who also was a presenter for John Peel’s Top Gear, Sight and Sound in Concert, Rock Goes to College, and Sounds of the Seventies. Listening to the CDs, you could almost close your eyes and imagine yourself being at those shows and just being prepared to be at a concert you will never forget.

The first disc was recorded on May 21, 1975 on Radio One as Drummond’s introduction and the audience applauding as PFM goes straight into a thunderous version of Celebration to kick things off as the chugging guitar by Franco Mussida, intense drumming, bass, and synths done by Franz Di Cioccio, Patrick Dijvas, and Flavio Premoli to get ready for an exciting adventure. And then going into the beautiful touches of Jazz Fusion as Premoli’s electric keyboards sets the lushful surroundings of the genre mixed in with classical boundaries a-la Mahavishnu Orchestra’s A Lotus of Irish Streams that carries a resemblance on Dove…Quando.

Not to mention the sounds of Medieval-Renaissance up-tempo waltz and the driven beats on Four Holes in the Ground featuring amazing flute and violin playing by Mauro Pagani and its almost like they are having a blast as Premoli sings to lend support. The sessions are like opening a treasure chest and just being touched on how much wonder to discover how the band were getting recognition thanks to support from Greg Lake and the Manticore label.

And who would never forget Mussida’s guitar playing on Alta Loma 5 ‘till 9. He is going through a lot of improvisations and just nailing the solos in the styles of John McLaughlin, Robert Fripp, and Frank Zappa at times. The band is going into taking turns on which solo is the best, but they are all winners as Premoli goes into the reminiscent of Darryl Way as the band go into an homage of Vivaldi before having a sense of humor of Rossini’s William Tell Overture.

On the second disc, they came back for another session on April 15, 1976. They were promoting at the time, their international success with Chocolate Kings featuring Acqua Fragile’s Bernardo Lanzetti who would join the group, and his voice resembled at times Genesis’ Peter Gabriel and Roger Chapman of Family and it was for me, the last real PFM album. The band moved into the Classical into the Jazz Fusion sounds that at times resemble French-Prog group, Atoll at times, but you could tell they are having a blast on the soothing turned adventurous beauty with Paper Charms.

However on Out on the Roundabout, PFM goes into the laid-back grooves and having the different signatures of the time changes that would be a resemblance and homage to Gentle Giant as getting into the swirling beats thanks to Di Cioccio, Mussida and Premoli creating a driven beat on their instruments that carries the Fusion sounds like a race car going 125 miles per hour as Lanzetti’s voice joins in to make it to the finish line.

Then on the title track its begins with a fanfare introduction thanks to Flavio’s organ and synth and it’s a foot-stomping yet almost sing-along song with the line “When I was born they came to free us/to heal our battle wounds/with photographs of big fat mama/the chocolate kings arrived!” It’s very catchy on this live edition and I could imagine the audience just being in awe and blown away of the band’s giving the electrical juice and energy of their powers to give them a chance of a lifetime not to mention the seguing into the eruptive version of the reprise on Alta Loma 5 ‘Till 9.

On the 14-page booklet, there are pictures of the band including one of the Queen of England visiting them and the liner notes done by Mark Powell who helped adapted notes that were written by the late Ernesto De Pascale, is a wonderful history of the band and their BBC performances of PFM at their peak and how much they are one of the legacy of the Rock Progresivo Italiano scene of the ‘70s.

And it’s a real treat discovering both the two CDs and the DVD, showing how much PFM were ahead of their time and often overlooked in the Progressive genre. This is a recommendation for anyone who wants to sink into more into their music, the Photos of Ghosts, the Celebration and the Worlds becoming the Worlds of Premiata Forneria Marconi.

Supertramp - Crime of the Century [Deluxe Edition]

This 2-CD set marks the 40th anniversary of Supertramp’s third and breakthrough album released in 1974, Crime of the Century. The band at the time was in limbo after the first two albums lacked in record sales and disbanded for two days. But they decided to reform again and give it one last chance and this time it was the right moment that Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies wrote a couple of material that would later be a success. And adding Bassist Dougie Thomson, Drummer Bob Siebenberg, and from the Alan Bown set, saxophonist John Helliwell, knowing that it was going to be something large and amazing was about to happen.

And once Ken Scott, who worked with Pink Floyd, Lou Reed, The Beatles, and David Bowie as a Producer and an engineer, was brought on board to work on the album, it was a perfect combination. With Davies and Hodgson as songwriters, it was a combination of Lennon and McCartney but they worked separately to write lyrics until their partnership was intense in 1983 when Roger left to pursue a solo career after the release of Famous Last Words. Originally released in September of 1974, Crime of the Century is a masterful gem  that reached the top 40 in the States and number 4 in the UK and was a successfully well in Canada, it showed the band what they were going to do and the direction they were about to embark on in the classic-era.

Opener, School begins with a haunting yet alarming harmonica introduction by Rick to give it a dystopian vibe on the questions on why we have to obey the golden rules and the ideas on the education system as Roger sings about how the students don’t know why we go and obeying the teacher’s strict golden rules and not knowing the term of right and wrong; “Maybe I’m mistaken expecting you to fight/or maybe I’m just crazy/I don’t know wrong from right/But while I’m still living/I’ve just got this to say/it’s always up to you.”

Then it segues into the Harder-Funk Rock with a touch of soul of Davies Bloody Well Right. Along with Roger’s crunchy wah-wah guitar solo and hard rock chords it gives it the idea on how we complain on how the system and corruption is always messing everyone up, just write everything down on a piece of paper and you are absolutely right about everything and just keep your mouth shut. Hodgson’s Hide In Your Shell is an emotional cry for help dealing with depression and trying to reach for someone who are in dire needs who are in isolation and locked up and are trying to break through to escape that prison by looking for someone to care and love.

Asylum which carries the same theme begins with the line “Jimmy Creem was keen/his brain was always winnin’/I can’t keep tabs on mine/it’s really quite a joke.”  It has the ominous and haunting vibes with the symphonic touches from the string quartet and tubular bells of someone going insane and Rick just nails it on his vocals and Roger as the voice inside the character’s head and it just fits well because it shows that someone going into a mental breakdown, they are dying inside.

Then we get into the Wurlitzer electric piano introduction of the riff that has an uplifting rise on Dreamer. And not to mention the bass lines by Dougie, laid-back drumming from Siebenberg, and tuned water glasses by Helliwell, it captures the essence of escaping the world of the reality, and into their dream world fantasy to escape the modern days they are living in and the toy piano used for the closing. The 7-minute epic, Rudy is a real treat.

It begins with a jazzy introduction for the first minute and thirty-three seconds between Rick’s Piano and Bob’s drumming and then it goes into a fast-driven beat as we are on the train from Paddington station into different areas in England thanks to the chugging guitar sounds that makes it perfect as the harmonies between Roger and Rick’s vocals as the speed increases for a mid-paced touch thanks to the strings and then calms down as it reaches the station as Rick sings the last lines “Now he’s just come out the movie/numb of all the pain/Sad but in a while he’ll soon be back on his train.”

The title If Everyone Was Listening is inspired by Shakespeare (All the world’s a stage and we are merely players) with a ballad and the deal of self-destruction on what has happened if we keep doing what we are doing, it is about to crumble very soon and there’s no coming back to escape it. The Piano shows the atmosphere as the vocalization and Roger deals with how we have succeeded and now everything has to be right before it falls to pieces; “For we dreamed a lot/And we schemed a lot/And we tried to sing of love before the stage fall apart.”  

The closing title track is where everything comes as one. From the gentle turned nightmarish views on the world gone wrong by raping the universe and gone from bad to worse and seeing who the real person is behind the mask and revealing true evil.  The band go into the instrumental passage that is dark, sinister, and destructive that mankind is taking over and ripping everything into pieces and the orchestral touches and the wailing sax along with the outro harmonica gives it a final fade out.

The second disc is a live recording at the Hammersmith Odeon on March 9, 1975 at the time band they were on tour promoting the album along with upcoming material for Crisis? What Crisis?  There is some amazing dazzling versions of Hide In Your Shell, Bloody Well Right, Just a Normal Day, Lady, and John Helliwell taking over vocals for a sense of humor of his take of Perry Como’s 1949 classic, A – You’re Adorable. The 22-page booklet features photos, liner notes with interviews of the band by MOJO’s editor-in-chief Phil Alexander, and the lyrics as well.

Mental Illness, Society, and Corruption, it’s all right here on their third album and it shows the band at their finest achievement. And the breakthrough for Supertramp, was only the beginning for them.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cailyn - Voyager

Cailyn Lloyd is one of the most gifted virtuoso guitarist I've ever listened to. Since hearing her work on Friday Night Progressive when I was in Houston Community College working on my Jazz Studies back in 2012 and being completely blown away of her debut album, Four Pieces which was her take of classical composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dvorak, Barber, and touches of Chopin and Schubert thrown in like a bird reading to flap their wings and fly across the grand canyon. She is back with a follow up album called, Voyager.

It’s a concept album that Cailyn was inspired by Gustav Holst’s Planets suite and the portraits of the voyager would fit right in to the sounds of symphonic and orchestral touches of the vision that Cailyn herself would bring to the table of the extended missions the program would embark on into outer space with. She brought along Deryn Cullen on Cello, Neil Holloman on Drums, Nancy Rumbel on English Horn, and the Studiopros of Shelby to add the textures of the atmosphere.

And not to mention Cailyn’s five centerpieces to make you put on your helmet for the adventure of a lifetime you will never forget. The opening title track sounds like an overture as the classical rock uplifting sounds and the bluesy guitar touches in the realms of Gilmour that she brings into, gives it a warmth introduction.

Drums, voices, bass, and synths give it that intense rhythm for liftoff. And it has this ambient beauty of the stars and soaring surroundings to give the rocket a chance to fly into the space touches. Titan has some excellent classical guitar touches along with synths and voices filling in the void and Cailyn going into the styles of Steve Vai as Holloman goes into some intense drumming. 

There is a mellow and fast tempo beat that is unexpected for her to create the tension on to slow down and get up into the rhythm on where the changes would go to next. Io has this late ‘70s/early ‘80s electronic heavy rock sound that almost feels as if it she was doing the score for William Friedkin’s Sorcerer with an homage to Agitation Free’s 2nd-era for the haunting score before getting into the blistering thunderous beat to give the closing finale of the surrealism. 

The booming guitar chords and lines along with the keyboards playing the melody has a harder symphonic metallic touch with Ariel, gives it a real unexpected wake-up call as if you can imagine what the future will be for us and what is to come. But Cailyn gives the fanfare like introduction that is a powerful way to start things off with Miranda, the smallest planet of Uranus five round satellites. 

With a metal feel before going into the Piano concerto that has a Rachmaninoff-sque vibe, It goes back into the styles of Steve Hackett meets Alex Lifeson touches as a homage thrown in that gives it a real kick throughout the entire composition that is unexpected and make you want to take note on what Cailyn would do next. This is a wonderful follow up and a great concept album that I really enjoyed listening to. Cailyn Lloyd has done an amazing job on the idea on the space program and Holst's music going into different planets with a classical, hard rock, and orchestral-electronic surroundings that is on here. 

Just imagine yourself going into a ship and journey into the realms of the planets and beyond the infinite because it is an adventure of Cailyn's music that will you take into our solar system of the planets you will explore from beginning, middle, and end.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Schnauser - Protein for Everyone

Esoteric Antenna have always released some amazing new bands and artists that are part of the label including; Matt Stevens, The Reasoning, Panic Room, Sanguine Hum, Hi Fiction Science, and now part of the Esoteric Antenna family is a group that have been around since forming nine years ago in Bristol called Schnauser. The band have this wonderful combination of Canterbury Prog, Psychedelic Pop, and ‘60s touches of the Baroque sounds of the Beach Boys thrown in.

The band released four albums and two EPs that were self-released and on labels including; Pink Hedgehog, Bitter Buttons, and Fruits De Mer. This year, they’ve released their fifth album called, Protein for Everyone. It shows the bands sense of humor and whimsical touches thrown in and they have done a spectacular job with this. The band considers; Alan Strawbridge on Guitar/Vocals, Duncan Gammon on Keyboards/Vocals, Holly McIntosh on Bass/Vocals, and Jasper Williams on Drums.

Opener, Grey or Blue begins with a fuzz tone bass riff, drums, guitar, and keyboards go into a joyful mood and having the sound of a VOX organ go into the uplifting melody, is very powerful as Schnauser is having a blast and good time getting in a good mood before going into a laid-back Beatlesque touch as it goes into the soaring signature. But Duncan goes into his improvisation on the organ with the fuzz sound resembling the tribute to Mike Ratledge and into the sound of the Soft Machine. And it is a great way to start the album off.

The waltz ¾ time signature of the dystopian title track, has a carousel/merry-go-round touch, has the Baroque Pop and Syd Barrett elements thrown in with the exchange between the members. It almost reminded me as if Schnauser had written this in the ‘70s for the science-fiction film, Soylent Green as the lyrics deal with selling protein for the plot twist in the lyrics that will take you by surprise that they are dealing with issues on what’s going on in the world today.

National Grid is very much of a spacey psych adventure in the world on social media and not to mention the touches of Caravan’s David Sinclair in the psychedelic touches while The Reason They’re Here, gives Alan a chance for Holly to take over on lead vocals as it goes through the sounds of mellow sound of The Doors as they sing on the creatures of the wasp. Split is a gentle and touching ballad that Alan sings with the lyrics on dealing with what to do after a relationship goes wrong as Buon Natale in which it means “Merry Christmas” in Italian, is romantic with a touch of Country Folk turned mellow grooves and adding a touch of background vocal harmonies of 10cc with elements of the sound from the Richard Thompson-sque guitar techniques to go with the flavor.

Then we go to the 17-minute epic finale of Disposable Outcomes. It begins with Alan doing a tribute to the late great Vivian Stanshall of Bonzo Dog Band with a radio-like introduction on what we as the listener are about to hear. Schnauser then goes into the Canterbury improvisation of the early ‘70s that is a real treat with psych and jazz fusion influences that is out of this unexpected ideas and let me say they really know their inspirations and roots very well. 

You could hear Hatfield and the North, Egg, and The Soft Machine thrown into the mix and it is a wonderful adventure of the bass lines, mellotron, electric piano, horn sections, and acoustic guitars that goes from frenzies into a soothing prog-pop soaring beat and an adventure before Alan’s Stanshall comes in for some humorous dialogue before the last 2-minutes is an ascending ride back home for them to give it a powerful Canterbury closing.

Mark and Vicky Powell have scored a home run for signing an amazing band that show they Schnauser carry the touches of the genres. And for me, I have listened to Protein for Everyone about seven times now and I’m hooked into the music of Schnauser and I can’t wait to see what they would come up with next. So if you love Progressive-Psychedelic Pop along with the Canterbury influences as well, then Schnauser’s Protein for Everyone is right up in your alley.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Discipline - To Shatter All Accord

There have been some great bands that I’ve enjoyed as we are heading towards the end of 2014 and heading into the New Year in 2015. One of the bands that have been going on since their formation in Detroit 27 years ago is a group called Discipline. The band considers; Matthew Parmenter on Lead Vocals, Keyboards and Descants, Jon Preston Bouda on Guitar, Matthew Kennedy on Bass, and Paul Dzendzel on Skins and Percussion. I first heard Discipline’s music on Prog Rock Deep Cuts with Ian Beabout and I was so blown away of the music and the structures that reminded me of the theatrics and the sounds Van Der Graaf Generator, Peter Gabriel-era of Genesis, and King Crimson.

Their third album released after their long hiatus in 2011 on their label, Strung Out Records called, To Shatter All Accord, is a beautiful, disturbing, and mesmerizing album. And while this is my introduction to Discipline’s music, they have showed that they can take it up a notch as Parmenter is following in the steps of Peter Hammill and at times Alice Cooper as well to stay true and honest of the sounds. The opening track, Circuitry has the raw guitar riffs and solo, sinister organ sounds, moving piano piece, and the interlude saxophone in the realms of David Jackson that you could tell is a tribute to the sounds of Van Der Graaf’s music.

Then, it segues into When the Walls are Down begins with piano and a jazzy sax coming in for a couple of seconds as it kicks into overdrive thanks to Bouda’s guitar and Dzendzel’s drumming  as Matthew sings “You are alone here/seeing not knowing/beware the shadows/in times of weakness.” What he’s saying to the listener is, don’t be frightened of the voices inside your head. You have to beware of what’s going around in times of desperate measures, you will become the fool and there’s no one to help if the walls come down, just don’t get caught or you will be in danger to yourself.

There is some intense rhythm from the band as Matthew’s echoing vocals fill the hall with the swirling guitar and it fits the void and the atmosphere like a whirling pool of terror to close it while Dead City has a simple and straightforward vibe of the ‘80s. Then the two closing epics are the real deal for Discipline to sink into for 13 and 24-minutes of music to really make you buckle your seat belts to enjoy. The 13-minute When She Dreams She Dreams in Color, is a mesmerizing composition. It begins with a jazzy and moody melody in the realms of Gnidrolog for the first four minutes and twenty seconds as it kicks into a jam of a groove and Matthew challenging Peter Hammill and the instrumentals open up.

The dooming guitar lines, slowed-down drums, piano, crescendo ride cymbals, violin, and the mellotron sounds will take you into another world in another dimension of the passages of time that is an excellent improvisation that makes you feel you are alone and cold with nowhere to go and it’s a sad and moody finale for the last 5-minutes that is a tribute at times to King Crimson’s Starless and The Beatles I Want You (She’s So Heavy). The closing 24-minute, Rogue is where Discipline comes as one.

I really enjoy this track because it shows Discipline taking the darker side of progressive music into an evil territory as if they were reading stories from H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and Clive Barker while listening to Peter Hammill’s solo album, The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage for inspiration. There are some different passages whether it will be soaring, sinister, and beautiful thanks to Bouda going into a clean yet ominous approach as Matthew’s voice and the time signatures as well to see which area the band are going into that gives that jolt of electricity.

Amazing guitar work, organ, drums, bass, and vocalizations makes it almost as if Discipline had done a score for one of the Italian Giallo cinemas of the 1970s. I have listened To Shatter All Accord about three times now and while this is my introduction to Discipline’s music, I’m blown away of the band’s music and I can’t wait to hear more of their music for years to come and what will they come up with next.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Yugen - Mirrors

When it comes to Avant-Garde, Contemporary Chamber Music, and a dosage of Rock in Opposition, you can quite expect something jumping right at you when you leap out of your seat of the music and sound of Yugen. Yugen formed 10 years ago in the autumn by guitarist Francesco Zago and AltrOck label founder Marcello Marinone who wanted to create the two genres and it was an orientated sound of them with a dosage of Rock.

The band released three albums from 2006 to 2010 and in 2012 with their live album called, Mirrors. It was recorded at the RIO Fest on September 17, 2011 in the commune of Carmaux, France. Alongside Francesco Zago and despite line-up changes, the band considers Paolo “Ske” Botta on Keyboards, Valerio Cipollone on Sax and Clarinet, Maurizo Fasoli on Piano, Jacopo Costa on Marimba and Vibes, Matteo Lorito on Bass Guitar, and Michele Salgarello on Drums.

Listening to this amazing performance, you can close your eyes and imagine yourself being at the RIO Fest watching the seven-piece really going into town and applauding and cheering for them on a job well done. There’s some intensity and shrieking moments on their instruments and the time changes going into different areas that just sends chills down my spine with some touches in tribute to; Univers Zero, Present, King Crimson, Magma, Frank Zappa, and Gentle Giant and they are true to their roots of Progressive Rock and Rock in Opposition and I would imagine the master Zappa himself would be so proud of Yugen so much.

I first became aware of Yugen’s music with the 2012 documentary of Romantic Warriors II: A Progressive Music Saga About Rock in Opposition and I became hooked into the scene and the band’s music just completely took me by surprise. It’s hard to pick some favorites because I was spellbound when I was listening to the album from start to finish. Not to mention four centerpieces. I love their take of Henry Cow’s Industry because it captures the essence of their music and Zago’s heavy homage to Fred Firth is like a swirling nightmare thanks to Botta’s keyboards.

At times, it feels as if they are doing the score to Alejandro Jordorowsky’s surreal western, El Topo, but it gave me goosebumps from the sound of the different beats following in the time changes along with Cipollone’s homage to Tim Hodgkinson.  Brachilogia brings a sinister, ominous, and frightening touch but with a calming moment at times thanks to Costa’s vibes and Cipollone’s sax setting the tension like a roaring beast following by Fasoli’s Piano and the crescendos to give it a shrieking finale.

Cloudscape shows the band their ambient/atmospheric side in the realms of German Electronic Music with touches to Tangerine Dream’s Zeit-era before it spreads through the synth, sax, guitar, and piano rooms and comes together and the magic is working before the minor chords close it off. The 12-minute Free Jazz-Psych-Chamber Rock-Canterbury-Zappa haywire swirling crescendos on Becchime, gives the band a chance to lend out their instruments and have their creative freedom and you can never expect to see where Yugen would go next.

I have listened to Mirrors about three times now and I am completely blown away of the live album. It has a 9-page booklet including liner notes by Sid Smith that features pictures of the group and the history of the band along with Zago’s interview as well. It may not be easy to listen to, but once you put the headphones on, you can really expect something out of the blue for the door to be kicked down to experienced something fresh and exciting.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Franco Baggiani - Memories of Always

It’s hard to imagine of following to pass the torch for a musician to follow in the footsteps of great artists. And it’s almost as if you are making sure you don’t make any mistakes and staying true to the original sound of the band or the artist. And taking the sounds of ‘70s Jazz Fusion and Funk is Italian trumpeter Franco Baggiani. The new album, Memories of Always is almost like a trip back in time of the sounds of that era and in the realms of Miles Davis which you could tell from the moment Franco plays those notes, it’s like an alarming echoing sound that is unexpected and never knows what he is going to do next.

Franco Baggiani has been performing in the Jazz circuit since the late 1980s. He took musical studies with help from Tolmino Marianini at the school of music in Fiesole and he took private lessons with Bill Campbell who was the leading trumpeter in the municipal theatre in Florence. There is no stop sign for him. He’s also a teacher, publisher, conductor, composer, and has done scores for television and theatre to name a few. And while this is my introduction to Baggiani’s work, it’s really quite interesting of him to carry the spirit of Miles as if he is watching him and being proud of what he has achieved.

The album begins with the opening track, Ob-session. It has the sounds and elements of ‘70s Funk Rock with a rapid beat between Adriano Arena’s guitar and Lorenzo Forti’s Bass as they bring the grooves in them of the Soulful sounds thrown in before Franco blares out on his trumpet as if it is echoing the studio to give it an alarming noise. The 13-minute Ghebus Suite is a tribute to traditional African music. On the first six minutes, it has a rapid intense percussion workout done by Alessandro Criscino and Giacomo Downie’s Bartione Sax.

There is some wonderful improvisation that Downie does as he and Baggiani take turns on their solos as Arena goes into the style of McLaughlin and never expect what is going to happen next between the four of them along with Forti as well. It’s almost like a jam session and creating a wonderful mood on there and the band give Criscino a chance to shine along with drummer Alberto Rosadani for a couple of seconds. And then the atmosphere changes as if you can imagine yourself walking around the streets of Paris around Midnight alone and the cars going by with a soothing vibe and remembering the past and the present like a trip into the late ‘50s and then the last two-minutes they are back into the soulful groove to close it off.

The Sieve Smells Bad Today has an ominous and sinister feel along with a small tribute to the composer of Maurice Ravel at times and you can imagine the stench of the river and its smell is not a pleasant thing you don’t want to go near. Then, Baggiani goes into the last four tracks that clock in for 9, 11, 13, and 14-minutes to make you get ready and take note on what he will do next. His take of Miles Davis’ Black Satin from his controversial 1972 album, On the Corner, it goes into a moody yet nightmarish and sinister take from the wailing guitar, bass, and percussions that sets the harsh tones that at times reminded me of Robert Fripp thanks to Arena’s playing by using the diatonic mode.

And then, the first four minutes along with the funky grooves come kicking in and you could tell are having a great time laying down the beats as Franco’s trumpet shrieks at parts on the guitar solo before the chaotic frenzy appears as the instruments collide into a crescendo and then the last four minutes they close it into the ominous void. A Series of Coincidences shows each of the band go into almost very much like an Avant-Garde and Free Jazz touch as Downie goes into the mind of Coltrane on his sax.

It’s the band having free rein with each other while Entop-the Chinese… is back into the rhythmic beats as Forti gives his moment to shine on the bass and he’s improvisation along with Baggiani is brilliant when the Bass goes in the styles of Jaco and Stanley Clarke and Criscino’s percussion does the rest for a quick second and then back into the beat, is intense and raw for the pulse to flow. The closing track, Simple and Invisible, is back into the darker area and letting the listener know that this only just the beginning.

And not to mention the crescendos throughout the piece as the band just go into those areas and nailing it out to see what is going to happen next and then the rhythm gets faster thanks to Adriano Arena’s solo as the band follow him to go into the light at the end of the tunnel, but leaving us with a dooming finale that is chilling and gives me goosebumps to close it off. So far, I have listened to Memories and Always about five times now. And as I've mentioned before in the beginning, this is an introduction for me on Franco Baggiani’s work, I have to say I am impressed from start to finish.

And bringing the Classic sounds of Fusion is still going strong and Baggiani and his band mates, have done an incredible job bringing the genre to life. And if you admire the classic fusion-era of Miles Davis, then Franco Baggiani’s Memories of Always is worth checking out.