Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Trip - 1971 - Caronte

The Trip

01. Caronte 1 (6:45)
02. Two Brothers (8:15)
03. Little Janie (4:00)
04. L'Ultima Ora e Ode a J. Hendrix (10:18)
05. Caronte 2 (3:32)

William Gray / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Joe Vescovi / Hammond organ, piano, church organ, Mellotron, arrangements, lead vocals
Arvid "WEGG" Andersen / bass, lead vocals
Pino Sinnone / percussion

Obviously one Italian album looking towards the British isles and not just for the music influences, but in its artwork also, but with good reasons since a good part of the members are British, with even Ritchie Blackmore (!!) being a one-time member. Your standard rock quartet with an impressive duo upfront of Vescovi (vocals and KB) and Grey (guitars), the group alternates between Vanilla Fudge (Stein(s organ sound) and The Nice.

A usually short Italian classic (just over 30 min), the album is quite impressive but at the same time awkward in its mix of influences and musical spectrum. Some rather weak track (Little Jamie) is rubbing shoulders to real excellent epics (Two Brothers and the first title track), whilev the other major track Ultima Hora E Ode A Hendrix is an uncomfortable almost-plagiarism to the great master of the XIXth century. This leaves the brilliant interplay between the two soloists, but unfortunatel guitarist Grey will leave at the end of the album, taking with him the drummer. Grey will not be replaced, but Furio Chirico (of Arti e Mestieri) will step in and the group will veer towards jazz-rock for their remaining two albums.

Although hardly flawless (being typically excessive like only our Italian friends can be ;-) Caronte is one of the most influential Italian prog albums, and is a must to understand how the country became a powerhouse in progressive rock during the 70's.

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