Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cervello - 1973 - Melos


01. Canto Del Capro (6:30)
02. Trittico (7:14)
03. Euterpe (4:27)
04. Scinsicne (T.R.M) (5:39)
05. Melos (4:55)
06. Galassia (5:45)
07. Affresco (1:11)

- Antonio Spagnolo / 6 & 12 string acoustic guitar, bass, pedal, recorder, vocals
- Giulio D'Ambrosio / electric sax (contralto & tenor), flute, vocals
- Corrado Rustici / guitar, recorder, flute, vibraphone, vocals
- Gianluigi Di Franco / lead vocals, flute, small percussion
- Remigio Esposito / drums, vibraphone

CERVELLO are another example of a seventies Italian prog band who only managed to release one album. They formed in Naples in 1972 and quickly appeared at a number of festivals including the Palermo Pop Festival. The line-up consisted of Gianluigi Di Franco on vocals and flute, Corrado Rustici on guitar and flute, Remigio Esposito on drums and vibes, Antonio Spagnolo on bass and violin and Giulio D'Ambrosio on sax and flute. They had a connection with OSANNA as Rustici was the brother of Danilo Rustici, their guitarist.

As well as family ties CERVELLO also occupied similar musical territory to OSANNA. A high standard of musicianship is present on Melos and they should appeal to fans that enjoy the wilder excesses of RPI, not only OSANNA but the likes IL BALETTO DI BRONZO and RACCOMANDATA CON RICEVUTA DI RITORNO. They combine a fairly eclectic blend of musical styles ranging from acoustic folk, occasional avant moments to more bombastic instrumental workouts. The excellent guitar work of Rustici display's a John McLaughlin influence at times. Notable is the absence of keyboards, in their place sax and flute playing a more prominent role.

Unfortunately the band was short lived and split up in 1974 with Rustici joining OSANNA and then NOVA before embarking on a solo career including production work. Vocalist Gianluigi Di Franco, who sadly died in 2005, collaborated with Toni Esposito on Kalimba De Luna and As You As before embarking on music therapy work.

Melos remains essential listening for anyone seriously exploring the Italian prog scene and is rated highly by many fans of the genre.

Oh how I was looking forward to this album being a huge Osanna fan. Cervello was a band from Naples like Osanna, and each band had a brother in it. Corrado Rustici played with Cervello (later with Osanna as well) and his older brother, Danilo played for Osanna. I had read of the comparisions between the two and first listened to this with eager anticipation.

This album unlike Palepoli consists of more traditonal, in a prog sense, song structure. Songs are a nice length. Not too long or too short. The vocals are standard for me. Nothing that really stood out outside of the first song, yet nothing that left you cringing either. This album is also not as 'heavy' for lack lack of a better word as Palepoli. The album begins with Canto Del Capro with it's flighty flutes and chanted vocals during an extended intro. The song really hits a peak with the loud distorted vocals jarring you out of the stupor you may have been in. Very effective arrangement, came out of nowhere and just grabs your attention. The next song, Trittico is a mini epic of sorts in 3 distinct parts. The first part features some nice vibraphone work and some lovely flute, whic is a hallmark of the album. The first section ends with a high energy drums and sax section right out of Osanna. The second section is memorable for a nice flute and accoustic guitar melody with some high pitched vocal harmonies. The third section brings back the sax and the e-guitar before fading out in a chorus of la-la's. Very nice piece of music. Euterpe features a nice flute/accoustic melody over a a simple quarter note bass pattern, then the tempo picks up with a sax solo then a fiery yet tasteful guitar solo.

Scinsicne features a nice descending guitar pattern joined by the flute before the drums kick in and your toes have a life of their own and are tapping away hahah. I thought to end of this song was rather crafty, with almost metallic guitar figures that hint of yet in the end only tease you of all out guitar shredding. The title track Melos comes next. A nice cymbal and vibraphone intro is followed by warm inviting vocals. A nice flute break with a harmonized flute section that was unexpected and very catchy. The hamronized trick is pulled out later with the saxophone which again is unexpected and welcome. Galassia an interesting intro with cymbals and guitars panning across the channels. The vocals are a nice change, sounding a bit distant as if recorded in another room. Nice high energy bass and drums part during a final guitar break. The last song is Affresco is a nice close to the album led by some flighty sounding flute.

This album, I must admit disappointed me at first. I expected and was looking for another visceral masterpiece like Palepoli. I would have given this album 3 stars based on that, however this album has really grown on me plus the realization that Cervello were on their own path.. not meerly being an Osanna clone. This album while not as complex as Palepoli is in a way... a more thoughtfully considered album.



  2. imho another masterpiece gracias mr drago