Blocco Mentale — POA
(VM032, 1973/1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01Here's an Italian band from 1973 that, instead of taking their cue from the keyboard driven sound of ELP, have more in common with the sound of Jethro Tull, early PFM, maybe Blodwyn Pig, and perhaps early Yes as well; there are near-schizophrenic outbursts of high speed sax-driven rock going right into the folky flute and guitar textures similar to Per un Amico era PFM. Of course there are keyboards here, piano, Hammond, Mellotron, and more, but it's more an integral part of the music than a dominant force and vehicle for solos. The band has two lead vocalists, Aldo Angeletti who doubles on bass, and Dino Finocchi who also plays sax and flute. One of the two sounds surprisingly similar to the vocalist in Latte e Miele. The band creates a diversity of moods and currents within their music, moving effortlessly between styles, doing fast changes from a simpler accessible folk styling straight into ripping bits of jazz-rock, with intense involvement from all; even the harmonica is used to further expand the envelope on "Io e Me," where keyboardist Filippo Lazzari does a splendid harmonica intro, and doubles behind the vocals before hitting the Mellotron and Hammond. For "La Nuova Forza" the flute leads into a splendid two-part vocal harmony, leading directly into "Ritorno," which features keyboards (piano, organ and synth) in their most prominent role on the entire album, and some powerful sax dueling as well. An excellent reissue that does take a few listens to reveal itself, but a difficult one to pull out of the changer once it does.
Related artist(s): Blocco Mentale
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more