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Picchio dal Pozzo: Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi (remaster)

Picchio dal Pozzo were an Italian avant-garde progressive rock & fusion band from the late 70's/early 80's. Originally released in 1980, their second album Abbiamo I Suoni Problemi is an eclectic mix of prog rock, Canterbury styled fusion, avant-garde, RIO, and Frank Zappa inspired jazz-rock. Mostly instrumental (save for some brief sections of vocals sung in Italian on a few songs), the album is filled with quirky and complex music performed on guitar, bass, keyboards, sax, recorder, drums, flute, clarinet, and vibraphone, so you can expect an almost "big band" feel. Fans of Frank Zappa's Grand Wazoo period will love "Moderno Ballabile", a near 10 minute piece of adventurous jazz-fusion with an avant-garde twist. Dueling saxes, swirling keyboards, intricate drum patterns, bubbling bass, and stabbing guitar licks make up the mix on this piece, yet everything remains highly melodic and memorable.

Canterbury styled progressive rock can be heard on "Strativari" as well as on the epic "Mettiamo Il Caso", a song that has some real tasty guitar and sax solos. This band is able to put forth a quirky style, much like Hatfield & the North or Gentle Giant, yet keep the music fairly well grounded and melodic, so despite some of the songs being pretty avant-garde in nature, things never get too out of control. A great example of their sense of humor can be heard on "Uccellin Del Bosco" a fun mix of heavy rock guitar and prog complexity, with biting Italian vocals and wild sax & organ work.

I'm sure there's no better way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Picchio dal Pozzo than to check out this lovely remaster of their classic second album. Kudos to ReR Megacorp for making it happen!

Track Listing
1. La Sgargianza parte 1 (0:49)
2. I Problemi Di Ferdinando P. (7:22)
3. La Sgargianza parte 2 (0:51)
4. Moderno Ballabile (9:50)
5. La Sgargianza parte 3 e 4 (1:33)
6. Strativari (5:49)
7. Mettiamo Il Caso (15:46)
8. Uccellin Del Bosco (3:15)
Total Time: 45:05

Added: February 1st 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Picchio dal Pozzo Website
Hits: 2629
Language: english

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Picchio dal Pozzo: Abbiamo Tutti I Suoi Problemi (remaster)
Posted by Kerry Leimer, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-02-01 08:50:39
My Score:

1980's sophomore release is made available again by the thoughtful folks at ReR. Dismissed in some corners as a light jazz-fusion record in the style of Zappa and seemingly akin to fellow ltalians (and fellow Zappa devotees) Ossi Duri O.D. being the far more raucous of the two someone more versed than I would be needed to untangle and clarify the Zappa / Italian jazz-rock ball 'o twine. So it's no surprise that Abbiamo tutti i suoi problemi is very much of its time. Larded with clever signatures, wide-open voicing and the willingness to become distracted while playing, the balance between structured and unstructured passages is a bit off, especially since the unstructured bits tend to feel self-conscious and consequently artificial.

But in addition to the bouncy, stream-of-consciousness constructs that are on display here, there's also a gleeful embrace of some RIO-style quotations, particularly similar to the early days of Henry Cow. This affectation ranges from some deftly quoted rivmic echolalia to the routinely tedious aggregation of mumbling voices lost in a cloud chamber. That Picchio dal Pozzo misses the mark in this particular is not surprising: Henry Cow managed some startlingly original passages and digressions. It's best to recognize PdP's indiscretions as imitation, flattery sincerest form of.

The band here consists of a quintet proving themselves highly capable on bass, flute, keyboards of all sorts, saxophone, guitars electric and acoustic, vibraphone, clarinet and drums. Unlike Ossi Duri's devotionals to Zappa, which rely heavily on covers of Zappa-composed pieces, PdP goes all original here, and there's the issue. The word "original" has to be used with a caveat because even though the arrangements are full and well organized, the playing is more than competent the material itself is, in the end, just a tad too derivative of those whom they so rightly admire.

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