Legendary italian progressive rock/jazz-fusion act Picchio dal Pozzo has a history that dates all the way back to 1976, but oddly enough in the ensuing near 40 years they've only released a handful of albums. Their quirky style, which is very reminiscent of Canterbury & avant-garde acts such as National Health, Hatfield & the North, Soft Machine, Matching Mole, and Henry Cow, never really caught on with the general public but the band has had a strong following with critics & prog fans alike for many years. This live concert, filmed in 2011 at the La Claque club in Genova, Italy, features original members Also De Scalzi (vocals, keyboards, nylon string guitar), Aldo Di Marco (drums), and Paolo Griguolo (guitar, recorder, vocals), alongside newer mates Luca Cresta (keyboards), Edmondo Romano (sax, clarinet, flute), Dado Sezzi (percussion), Massimo Trigona (bass), and Sergio Gazzo (live video arts), with special guests Jessica Cochis (alto sax), Giorgio Karaghiosoff (original member, sax) and Roberto Romani (original member, sax) joining in on the fun.
Much of the material played at this show is drawn from the bands debut self-titled album from 1976, Quirky, adventurous arrangements highlighted by jazzy reed passages, tranquil keyboards, and melodic guitar work permeate classic songs such as "La Bolla", "Napier", "Merta" and "Coccomelastico". The tunes were obviously very meticulously put together, but there's an airy looseness about the arrangements that is very refreshing, the songs never venturing too far into bombastic prog-rock territory nor diving into chaotic free-jazz. Fans of mid-'70s Frank Zappa will certainly love the big band sounds Picchio dal Pozzo conjure up throughout this concert. "Lindbergh" and "Adriatico" quite simply just soar with grace and majesty.
The DVD also includes a near 45-minute documentary chronicling the history of the band, filled with interviews with some of the founders, live & studio clips, and vintage photos. Don't worry if you don't speak Italian, as there are English sub-titles to help you along. The folks at Black Widow Records have done a great job on this DVD, which is highly recommended to all fans of the band and Canterbury inspired progressive rock & jazz-fusion.
4) Il Presidente
6) La Bolla
9) Uccellin del Boso
Bonus-PdPedia-a documentary film about the birth and revolution of the band with interviews from some of the original members