Luciano Basso - Voci. 1976 Italy

Luciano Basso - Voci. 1976 Ariston

CD reissues: 1994 Vinyl Magic; 2007 BTF (mini-LP); 2009 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP)

LP reissue: 2008 BTF

Packaging details: Currently I own the original Vinyl Magic CD as well as a true original LP - that is one with a textured cover, which is actually quite scarce (many of the originals were smooth covers, which were pressed slightly later). I haven't personally seen the Japanese mini, but it is likely to mimic the textured version.

Notes: 1976 is pretty much the last hurrah for this kind of "big" symphonic progressive rock coming from Italy. Madrugada, Corte dei Miracoli, Celeste, PFM and Banco DMS all threw in their lot for one last try - before either folding or succumbing to more trendy fusion or pop styles.

Basso's debut is a very fine example of this sound. Eschewing the heightened frenzy of the classic early 70's sound, Basso takes on a more mature and measured disposition, and the album is very pleasant. The keyboards are all the classic vintage 70's toys (Mellotron, Hammond, electric piano) along with quite a bit of expertly played acoustic piano parts. A strong violin/cello presence adds a unique dimension, while guitar and a sprightly rhythm section round out the sound. Hard to go wrong with this one for progressive rock fans. And while it doesn't extend much beyond the genre's norm, for something perhaps truly extraordinary, it nonetheless fulfills the daily bread portion of one's progressive musical diet.

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