Andrea Centazzo

Solos: 6/5/76

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The best thing about this album is the label on the flip side, in which Andrea Centazzo reveals an obsession with the crucifixion and stigmata, like most Italians. This kind of humorous graphic design unfortunately fell victim to the CD era. Centazzo's most famous solo effort was the box set entitled Indian Tapes, well known in part because Sonic Youth displayed the record on an album sleeve along with other parts of Thurston Moore's record collection. Centrazzo seems to have recorded this particular set in his home studio, and it shimmers with the usual excellent recorded sound and top-end percussion equipment veneer. While this performer proved able to reinvent himself several times in his career, his percussion music from this period leads the listener toward shallow waters, despite sounding good to the ear. Some of it is like a Buddy Rich solo, if Rich had not been playing drums since he was a child and had little interest in swing. Solo percussion is notoriously one of the most unpopular styles of music in history, although less hated than opera and bagpipes. There are recordings that would alter such opinions, but this isn't really one of them. Ironically, the best track is the last, in which the mighty Centazzo shamelessly predicts the era of Snoop Doggy Dog and hip-hop. Unfortunately he was not confident enough about the venture and kept the cut down to less than two minutes in length, meaning it doesn't really have the clout to save the album.

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