This two-CD set, Live/1974-2000, culls together live recordings from 1999-2000, following Arti & Mestieri's comeback, and a live album recorded in 1974 and first released in 1990. The latter features the line-up that recorded the group's first album, Tilt: drummer Furio Chirico, keyboardist Beppe Crovella, bassist Marco Gallesi, guitarist Gigi Venegoni, sax player Arturo Vitale, and violinist and singer Giovanni Vigliar. The set encompasses most of Tilt. Sound and editing quality are poor (and, sadly, as poor as the 1990 release) but the group gives a wonderful performance. The music hints at Gentle Giant, early King Crimson (in the dreamy "Young Man's Tale"), early Yes ("Comin' Here to Get You"), and Jean-Luc Ponty and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Articolazioni" makes a good epic, but the shorter tracks are a lot more exciting. Many bands would go down the jazz-rock path in the mid-'70s, but Arti & Mestieri were there before most of them and they put more heart and soul into a music that too often remains a clinical statement of virtuosity. The 2000 disc, put together from three different concerts (one of them acoustic), features the same line-up minus Vigliar and Vitale, plus Marco Cimino on synths, and violinist Corrado Trabuio. Entirely instrumental, this set ditches the prog rock influences to focus on sharp-edged jazz-rock. A healthy number of tunes from Tilt and its follow-up Giro di Valzer per Domani are performed, along with many new ones that would pop up on the group's 2001 CD Murales. Sound quality is much better and the performance remains exciting, although it is of a more predictable kind of jazz-rock. The acoustic medley of "Nove Lune Prima/Zoetrope/Bonaventura Moon," and a handful of short solo numbers distract from key pieces like "Gravita' 9.81," "Valzer per Domani," and "Arc en Ciel": the real treats here.
AllMusic Review by François Couture