Exposé Online banner

Jumbo — 1983: Violini d'Autunno
(Mellow MMP 119, 1983/1992, CD)

Jumbo — DNA
(Mellow 512 118-2, 1972/1995, CD)

Jumbo — Jumbo
(Mellow 512 117-2, 1970/1992, CD)

Jumbo — Live
(Mellow MMP 108, 1990/1992, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01

1983: Violini d'Autunno Cover artDNA Cover artJumbo Cover artLive Cover art

The list above is the entire discography of Jumbo except for two rare singles, one from 1970 and one from 1975, and Vietato Ai Minori Di 18 Anni? which is covered elsewhere. At the beginning, Jumbo were a sextet with a sax/flute player and a very distinctive vocalist. Alvaro Fella's voice is loud, harsh, and raspy, yet has a unique poetic style that may make these albums an acquired taste.

Jumbo started out as a bluesy rock group. The music was only vaguely experimental or unusual on their self-titled debut in 1970, with hints of the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Canned Heat and Jethro Tull. Musically, there is a lot of acoustic guitar (by Fella) and piano, which gives it a folkier and more individual edge to the bluesy feel. I doubt this will do much for those into more progressive music as it's a very straight rock album.

DNA from 1971 showed Jumbo becoming more interested in experimentation and classical stylings. Featuring a long suite that includes a revamped "Dio E" from the first album, the music is more typically Italian styled than on the previous album. Jumbo still primarily stick with the acoustic blend and the music remains similar to the debut as far as the instrumentation goes, yet the song structures are much more unusual and less blues oriented than before.

By this point Jumbo had become quite a force to reckon with. In 1972, they released their classic Vietato... album that remains one of the finest of all 70s Italian progressive albums. As it wasn't released on Mellow, I won't go into it. I do however recommend it as the place to start...

Ouch! Jumbo's last single in 1975 "Vorrei / Il Re Dei Re Del Rock & Roll" (Atlantic T10672) showed the sextet dwindled down to a trio before they quit. Eight years later, the trio reformed with a bass player. 1983: Violini d'Autunno certainly sounds nothing like the Jumbo of the 70s. A "demo tape" of an obvious attempt at a pop rock album, most of this is music that has little reference to anything progressive unless your definition includes groups like The Cars, The Police, Missing Persons, The Pretenders, and ZZ Top (shall I stop now?). In this type of format with progressive tinges, modern synth-like drums, and a restrained Alvaro Fella, I can't imagine what Mellow CD buyer would like this.

In 1990, Jumbo played a reunion show opening for IQ and Magma (?!?!) The Live CD is a recording of this show. It's good that they recovered from the early 80s as most of this is live versions of songs from their best album Vietato... Its a good sounding live show (unlike most Mellow live archives) and they were in fine form playing remarkably and dynamically. The material from Vietato... still sounds impressive with alternating acoustic and electric sequences. Even 18 years on, Jumbo still remain a powerful group, as this show testifies.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 10, 1992 releases, 1983 recordings, 1995 releases, 1972 recordings, 1970 recordings, 1990 recordings

Related artist(s): Jumbo

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sonus Umbra - Spiritual Vertigo – I really want to like Sonus Umbra. They have so many elements I like – a combination of electric and acoustic instruments, judicious use of modern technologies, complex song structures with varying...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues