This new CD by Italy’s DFA is a live document recorded from the bands set at the NearFest 2000 festival in Bethlehem, PA. Comprised of songs from both of the groups’ excellent albums, Work in Progress Live is a testament to the musical prowess that these four Italian virtuosos possess. The fact that this show was DFA’s first ever gig in the United States makes it even that more incredible.
The almost jazz-fusion aurora that this band gives off, especially when guitarist Silvio Minella and keyboard player Alberto Bonomi are trading off scathing outbursts, is extremely refreshing. Most of the CD’s six tracks exceed ten minutes in length, so there is plenty of room for the band to stretch out for some tight ensemble playing, like in the fiery opener “Escher” or the epic “LaVia.” Vocals, in Italian, are kept to a minimum, so if you are a fan of red-hot instrumental music this is most definitely for you.
It’s nice to hear an Italian band go for this style, which differs a bit from some of the more vocal oriented, folk flavored prog coming out Italy these days. This is definitely one of the better live recordings released this year.