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Italian Experimental Progressive

File under avantgarde, free-spirited, and creative music from the Italian Progressive scene

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Label: AMS

Format: LP

In stock


Restocked, special price. Leo Nero is the assumed name of Gianne Leone, the keyboardist and mastermind behind the legendary  band Il Balletto Di Bronzo, whose 1972 album 'Ys' is considered one of the true classics of the serious Italian Prog aficionado. That band split shortly afterward and Nero/Leone left for the United States in the mid 1970s. He recorded this album in 1976 in New York City before moving to Los Angeles for a few years, eventually heading back to Italy. He played all of the instruments on 'Vero' making it a true solo project. Nero moves from the classic heavy progressive rock into somewhat more accessible territory here, but the love for experimentation remains alive. He tries and succeeds at creating a very personal, intimate sound, one that retains drama but also doesn't take itself quite as seriously, not far from acclaimed Italian artists like Franco Battiato or Claudio Rocchi. Without creative compromise, and playing all instruments, Nero is free to go wherever he wishes. In the first four tracks he is largely introspective and fairly traditional. Lovely and simple songs based on gorgeous piano playing and generally upbeat vocals, sentimental mood, and drumming that is intermittent and blue collar (not too fancy.) Things change with 'La Bombola Rotta' when the soft, melancholic opening hits a dramatic and loud boom! This ushers in a tortured, mega-saturated guitar solo which screams like Neil Young throttling his black Les Paul, eventually transitioning to some virtuoso piano playing to finish. I can't stress the quality of Leo's piano playing. While he does play some synth, organ, and mellotron, this album is a piano lover's treat.

From here the second half of the album gets more mischievous, with 'Tastiere Isteriche' taking some side roads into jazzy sections and light, tongue-in-cheek avant-garde. 'Il Castello' sounds a bit art-pop in a Tai Phong style, while 'La Discesa' employs strange voices and bizarre, somewhat dissonant keyboards. (quoted from Progarchives website)

Cat. number: AMS 22 LP
Year: 2013