Picchio dal Pozzo

Camere Zimmer Rooms

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The Italian progressive rock group Picchi dal Pozzo put out only two LPs during their existence, and nothing substantial had been added to the discography prior to the apparition of Camere Zimmer Rooms. Released by Cuneiform, Camere Zimmer Rooms presents a set of live-in-the-studio recordings from 1977-1980. It chronicles the five-year interim between the group's studio albums. The quality of sound and performance is above what could be expected from archival recordings (small imperfections in the master tapes are detectable, but otherwise anyone could be fooled to believe this a legit studio LP). Picchio dal Pozzo was one of a kind. Their music belonged to the Italian sound (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and Celeste, mainly), but was also strongly influenced by Canterbury outfits like Hatfield and the North and National Health. The result is surprisingly reminiscent of the U.S. group Grits. "The President" is pure gold: beautiful Italian vocals, Fender Rhodes, complex twists and turns, and a jazzy feel to match. "The Town" includes a good freeform clarinet solo by Paolo Griguolo embedded in strong prog rock. "The Penguins" is a leftover from Abbiamo Tutti i Suoi Problemi, the group's 1980 LP. Why it was not included at the time is anybody's guess -- it's as exciting as anything the group recorded. Camere Zimmer Rooms may be a bit short at 44 minutes, but fans of Italian prog rock should not hesitate to grab it.

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