genre: heavy prog, psych
quality : mp3 (320k, scans)
time: 44'03" size: 107 mb
A very important band that would have deserved much more success than they really had at the time, Jumbo were formed in Milan at the end of 1969 around singer-songwriter Alvaro "Jumbo" Fella.
Their debut came with two pop singles in 1970 on Numero Uno, sharing the same B-side and containing two cover versions, with Montego Bay and an italian version of In the summertime called In estate.
First LP arrived in 1972 (but recorded earlier) on Philips, rather thin, conceived as an Alvaro Fella solo album (his nickname then became the name of the group) and mostly based on acoustic guitar compositions with little space for electric group parts. There are some good moments like Amore sono qua and Dio è (re-recorded on second album), but the result is not impressive and on a lesser level than their following works.
Later that year came their second album, DNA, an incredibly mature work, and especially when compared with the previous one this is their real first album as a group.
It's composed of four extended tracks, with the long Suite per il Signor K taking the whole of side one. The beginning is in the same style as on the first album, based on acoustic instruments (guitar, flute, piano) but suddenly a distorted electric guitar introduces a much more aggressive sound, led by Fella's harsh voice and strong lyrics. One of the best italian prog albums for sure!
Last album in 1973, after a drummer change with Tullio Granatello replacing the original member Vito Balzano. Vietato ai minori di 18 anni? is their most ambitious work, containing strong lyrics and fragments of avantgarde-inspired music, with the help of Franco Battiato. Come vorrei essere uguale a te and Specchio deal with difficult subjects as homosexuality and social alienation and the result is intriguing and rewarding even if less immediate than DNA. The strong contents of the lyrics caused the band being banned by radio programs.
The band was very popular live and kept playing for some years, in 1975 they released a last commercial single, playing at Milan Parco Lambro festivals in 1975 and 1976 (this time with Roberto Biancone on sax and Valter Frazzi on keyboards, replacing Guidotti and Conte).
Flutist Dario Guidotti was briefly involved as singer with the supergroup Track in 1974, along with former members of Nuova Idea and I Giganti for their sole album Track rock.
After a not successful reunion attempt in 1983, documented on the I violini d'autunno CD, the band reunited again in late 1989 with original members bar Sergio Conte (replaced by Paolo Dolfini) for a one-off concert in Paris with IQ and Magma, organized by a french fan of theirs, and the very nice evening is documented on the brilliant Live in Paris CD.
2001 has seen the release of another CD, called Passing by, containing 1991-2001 recordings by guitarist Daniele Bianchini (always the driving force behind the reunion attempts) aided by some of the band original members, like Alvaro Fella, Dario Guidotti and Tullio Granatello, more new age oriented and mainly instrumental, but containing some very good moments.
1. Specchio (7:23)
2. Come Vorrei Essere Uguale A Te (5:43)
3. Il Ritorno Del Signor K (2:03)
4. Via Larga (6:59)
5. Gil (7:12)
6. Vangelo? (5:41)
7. 40 Gradi (6:41)
8. No! (2:21)
- Alvaro Fella / vocals, guitar
- Vito Balzano / drums, vocals
- Samuel Conte / keyboards, vocals
- Pupo Bianchini / guitar
- Dario Guidotti / flute, harmonica, guitar, vocals
- Aldo Gargano / bass, guitar
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