Those damned Eye-talian prog guys are always such over-achievers, and Finisterre's no exception, a fast-paced colorful ensemble borrowing much from the grand old prog days while infusing generous amounts of jazz and fusion. More impressive is the fact that this entire long disc of stretched out compositions and improvisations is taken from a ProgDay concert and revelatory of cats who can keep their paces up very well indeed outside the studio. For just five guys, they make a cornucopia of sound.
There are times when the intelligent aesthete must gaze upon the milieu and dread for the future, yet that perhaps portentous day is well forestalled when encountering material like this. Premiata Forneria Marconi, whose Altaloma is—thank all the gods and Fates!—covered here, and was one of the drop-dead best groups to inhabit the halcyon days of the 70s, has quite evidently been a heavy influence on this quintet, and the Finisterre gents labor long and hard to keep the tradition in good repair while adding side avenues and generous wrinkles. And thank goodness the band's yet another group in a too slim catalogue to install the flute as a main axe, not just incidental coloration.
This is a convocation of equally talented individuals, which is why the CD comes off so satisfyingly. Adventurous, traditional, obtuse, grand, and convolutedly elegant, the ensemble plays its fingers off in neoclassical compositions reaching for the skies, eyes on far away planets while delineating fields and horizons within our grasp. Macinaaqua, Macinaluna, however, gets more down to standard cases in a crunchy rockprog number, Stefano Marelli flashing his guitar near and far. Storybook, then, is really an exultation of the genre and of music per se, a chance to revel, rock, roll, and reverberate.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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