Rustichelli, Paolo and Carlo Bordini - Opera Prima

Year of Release: 2003
Label: BMG Ricordi
Catalog Number: 74321985102
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:48:00

Mellotron, Hammond organ and ARP synthesizers, oh my! On Opera Prima, originally released in 1973 on RCA Italia, keyboardist Paolo Rustichelli and drummer Carlo Bordini dispense with bass playing entirely, after all Paolo has a left hand (and bass pedals), doesn?t he?

Like the baby being cradled on this CD's cover, Opera Prima is all Rustichelli's baby, a showcase for his keyboards and his compositions. Hammond organ and piano are the dominant instruments on this release with accents here and there from the Mellotron and synths. While Rustichelli is not up to the complexity and technical demands of Keith Emerson's work, he had probably listened to a lot of The Nice and ELP, though the music here also has a good deal of the typical Italian romanticism one would expect. Paolo shows a great deal of skill on the keys when he lets himself go but he is far less than generous with his improvised passages.

Rustichelli's songwriting is simple and straightforward symphonic prog with occasional interludes of Brian Auger style, bluesy jazz with basic themes and variations repeated, sometimes to the point of driving the melody into the ground. Unfortunately, there is little here that has not been heard elsewhere, usually done better by others. Rustichelli provides some very rough and gravely vocals, all in all a bit hard on the ears but, thankfully, the bulk of the music on Opera Prima is instrumental. Carlo Bordini's drumming is tight and energetic, yet he keeps mostly to the straight and narrow, most of the compositions being in 4/4 time.

If you are a fiend for the sound of the Hammond organ, you should consider adding this to your collection, but there are better ways to get your fix than to listen to Opera Prima. Triade, Le Orme and other Italian bands play music similar, yet far more satisfying than this.

Opera Prima is not really bad, just sadly uninspired. The music is a bit simplistic for my tastes and I cannot recommend it except to the most rabid keyboard aficionado and Italian progressive rock completists.

Nativita (8:10) / Icaro (7:40) / Dolce Sorella (5:18) / Un Cane (5:17) / E Svegliarsi In Un Giorno (5:15) / Cammellandia (8:49)

Paolo Rustichelli - Hammond C3 Organ, Mellotron, Arp, VCS 3, piano, voice
Carlo Bordini - percussion

Opera Prima - (1973/2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: July 25th 2005
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Hits: 1125
Language: english


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