Orme, Le - Contrappunti

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Polygram International
Catalog Number: CD842506
Format: CD
Total Time: 33:30:00

Le Orme have a long history and an extensive discography. They began as a psychedelic pop group in the sixties and have released albums over the span of five decades. They have covered more ground musically than many groups or artists you could name. Many fans of the band or Italian progressive rock would say, and most reviewers have said, that Le Orme's 1973 release Felona E Sorona represents their high water mark, and it is always referred to as their crowning achievement. Always one to disagree, I would say that Le Orme hit their stride and achieved their signature sound with 1974s Contrappunti (Phillips (LP 6323035)). I, like most American fans of the group, started with Felona E Sorona, which I, sad to say, only acquired about five years ago. I was told that this was an Italian ELP, and being the literalist that I am, immediately bought this CD, and after one listen, decided to take no more advice from that person. I still say that Felona E Sorona, and most of Le Orme's music sounds very little like ELP. I must also say that I didn't immediately warm up to Le Orme, but I did, thankfully, purchase a few more of their CDs just to be sure that I wasn't missing out on something of musical importance. I am glad that I didn't dismiss them out of hand

Let me say that Le Orme write and perform a good deal of keyboard based prog. rock on Contrappunti, and that they have a bassist who handles the vocals and doubles on guitar, and that they augment their more complex compositions with more gentle, folky numbers featuring a more guitar based sound. Just like you-know-who. That is where the similarity ends, for the most part.

Le Orme are an "Italian" progressive band first and foremost, and as such, they bring their own unique and separate background to their music. Even in works such as the title cut "Contrappunti," the most typically "English" sounding of the tracks on this CD, they have a sound that is all their own, even when performing heavy complex, fugue like, Hammond organ based compositions.

About half of this classic release is made up of guitar based songs featuring the talents of bassist, guitarist, vocalist Aldo Tagliapierta. That leaves the rest, which are of course, more keyboard dominated works featuring the deft touch of Toni Pagliuca. The two are credited with co-writing the seven tracks on this album.

Despite occasional bursts of musical fury, this is a studied, mostly low key effort from a fine, and in my opinion, under appreciated group.

Of special note are the title cut "Contrappunti," a Hammond organ workout that I find myself listening to quite often, "La Fabbricante D'Angelo," and the final cut, "Maggio," a live favourite. All these lean toward keyboard dominance, and showcase Pagliuca, as well as Le Orme's drummer Michi Dei Rossi.

Contrappunti is not a release of self aggrandizing solos or displays of technique. They let the songs speak for themselves and leave plenty of room for the listeners to catch their breath and consider the beauty of the compositions. This is the work of confident, accomplished musicians, who have the strength and just plain good taste to put their individual egos second to the music itself. This is, I contend, one of the great aspects of Italian progressive rock music in general and Le Orme in particular.

This is a very good CD, and if you are not already a fan of Le Orme, I would recommend this as a good release to introduce yourself to what I would call one of the top progressive acts of the 1970s.

Contrappunti (5:56) / Frutto Acerbo (3:34) / Aliante (3:20) / India (3:12) / La Fabbricante D' Angeli (4:47) / Notturno (3:51) / Maggio (8:50)

Toni Pagliuca ? keyboards
Aldo Tagliapierta ? bass, guitar, vocals
Michi Dei Rossi ? drums, percussion

Ad Gloriam (1969)
L'Aurora Delle Orme (1970)
Collage (1971)
Uomo De Pezza (1972)
Felona E Sorona (1973)
Le Orme In Concerto (1974)
Contrappunti (1974)
Smogmagica (1975)
Beyond Leng (1975) (English version compilation)
Verita' Nascoste (1976)
Canzone D'Amore (1976)
Storia O Leggenda (1977)
Le Orme Antologia 67-69 (1978)
Le Orme (1978)
Florian (1979)
Piccola Rapsodia Dell'ape (1980)
Venerdi' (1982)
Orme (1990)
Antologia 1970-80 (1993)
Il Fiume (1996)
Amico Di Ieri (1997)
Progfest '97 (1998)
Anthology (1998)
Le Pi? Belle Canzoni (1998)
Gioco Di Bimba (1999)
Gioco Di Bimba E Altri Successi (2000)
Elementi (2001)
Risveglio (2001)
L'Infinito (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: April 18th 2004
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Artist website: www.leorme.it
Hits: 1062
Language: english


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