Sway / Sante Palumbo Orchestra - s/t. 1973 Italy

Sway - s/t. 1973 Cipiti

CD reissue: 2013 private (mini-LP)

LP reissue: 2016 Schema (includes CD). Under the moniker of Sante Palumbo Orchestra.

Led by pianist Sante Palumbo, Sway is an excellent album heavily influenced by early 70s Miles Davis, even without the presence of trumpet. Throughout, the album features wah wah guitar rhythms and tribal drumming. The first side is a bit looser, with some shrieky sax, drum solos and some piano noise bits. But Side 2 contains 'Mad' which is absolutely sublime. The sax is traded in for flute, there's an actual melody line carried throughout, and the guitar fuzzes out some wonderful solos. CPT (Cipiti) is the same label that released the rare debut by Le Groupe X.

Just forget about finding an original. This puppy is off the charts rare. It's one of those albums you might luck into finding for a $1, because of its obscurity. But if in the hands of a dealer who knows what it is, an auction will land big bucks. This was an album that Midwest Mike turned me onto for the CDRWL. So now we have a CD... and many people have asked me about the legitimacy of it. Here's what I wrote for the CDRWL blog and on RYM: "Well... first thing is the "obi" strip uses my description for the album. And they didn't ask for permission. Not that I care all that much really, but it is protocol to do such - so that's a major red flag right there. The sound is absolutely fine considering it's not from the masters. And we do have it on good authority that Palumbo himself is aware of this reissue. This is the classic "gray area" reissue. Sometimes I see that term when they outright mean to say it's a pirate edition. This is not the case here. All the same - I'm not considering this reissued legit, and will keep in the main list. Unless I hear convincing data otherwise. But I don't regret buying this version, and if a legit CD comes along, I'll buy it again willingly. But it's my understanding the masters are gone, and demand is light, so this is probably it. Unfortunately."

Well, fortunately I was wrong! Schema has now come through (2016) with a legit reissue (under the moniker Sante Palumbo Orchestra), that is one of their combo LP + CD jobs. I have purchased it as well, and the  CD sounds great to me! I haven't listened to the LP figuring it to be a similar experience. I'll keep the old CD, because honestly, how many CDs out there have your own - unwittingly perhaps - liner notes.

Last update: April 11, 2017

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