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** early 2000 LP reissue, long out of print, few copies available**1976 was a year of flux and change. For the recording of the fifth Area album, the core membership of Stratos, Fariselli, Tofani and Tavolazzi were present, but drummer Capiozzo only appears on about half of the album, replaced on various tracks by either Walter Calloni or Paul Lytton. Steve Lacy augments the band, as do several other studio musicians (including a string quartet). Perhaps it was the contributions of this eclectic group of guests that gives Maledetti its bi-directional feel. On one hand, the opening tracks show Area softening their jazz-rock style to a more comfortable fusion orientation, but then "Scum" features the Fariselli playing an angular piano style that would seem at home on "Crac!" From the string quartet of "Il Massacro di Brandeburgo Numero Tre in Sol Maggiore" to the inspired sonic, vocal and free-jazz experiments of "Caos (Parte Seconda)," Maledetti defies all attempts at pigeonholing. In particular, the latter track foreshadows what was to come on Event '76.