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Venegoni & Co.: Rumore Rosso Vivo [Live]

Album Notes

Rumore Rosso Vivo [Live] culls live tracks from two different shows by Venegoni & Co., the group guitarist Gigi Venegoni formed after Arti & Mestieri disbanded in the mid-'70s. Taking the jazz-rock leanings of his former group further, Venegoni inserts in the music a big dose of quirky lines inspired by Frank Zappa, and the kind of powerful rhythmic complexity that will become a trademark of the zeulh movement -- the fusion side of Magma is everywhere in "Sarabanda: Pt. 1." Tracks from 1978 feature a line-up of Max Aimone (drums), Ciro Buttari (percussion), Paolo Franchini (bass), Ludovico Einaudi (keys), and Venegoni. For the two cuts from 1979, Luigi Colarullo takes the drummer's seat, Marco Astarita is on percussion, and Silvano Borgatta is on keys. The repertoire consists of key pieces from Venegoni & Co.'s first two albums, Rumore Rosso Vivo (1977) and Sarabanda (1978), plus a variation on Arti & Mestieri's "Positivo/Negativo." Sound quality is not fantastic but sufficient enough not to be distracting, except in "Calypso Minestrone," where there's a lot of crackling and the right channel goes through some painful distortion. The performances make up for the lack of high fidelity. At that point in time, Venegoni stood very close to becoming Italy's answer to Frank Zappa. His solos are flashy but pertinent, and he leads his band with the kind of well-spirited humor that is instantly communicated to the listener. ~ François Couture


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