Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Trip "Caronte" {Italy} [1971] (Progressive)

This was one of the first groups to emerge from the new Italian rock scene. They formed in London in 1967 on the initiative of pop singer Ricky Maiocchi (ex-Camaleonti) who needed a new backing group. Many British beat bands moved to Italy in the late sixties in search of gigs, among them The Sorrows, The Primitives and The Talismen. Most of the original Trip members were also English, including (future Deep Purple axeman) Ritchie Blackmore, who eventually became homesick and returned to England. When Joe Vescovi was recruited in 1969, he quickly became the leader of the group, updating their sound with the current (pioneering) Anglo-American attempts to expand the rock format, blending it together with the inspiration and composing techniques of 17th and 19th century classical music.

On their eponymous first album, The Trip almost sounded like a cross between Vanilla Fudge, The Nice and Quatermass (another group that had a great deal of influence on the early Italian rock scene; they released their only album in 1970). "Prologo" almost pastiched the organ work of Mark Stein on Vanilla Fudge's first album. Other enlightening features were Billy Gray's Blackmoresque guitar parts and Joe Vescovi's distinctive, high-pitched voice. The album showed great promise, but didn't quite succeed in creating an integrated group sound. Organ parts of great emotional intensity were sometimes followed by almost banal vocal arrangements in a more pop tradition.

However, better things were soon to come when The Trip released their masterpiece, "Caronte" in 1971. The powerful interplay between Gray and Vescovi is excellent throughout the album. If the "dream collaboration" between Jimi Hendrix and Keith Emerson had ever happened, then I imagine it would have sounded close to this! The finest example of this is on "Two Brothers", which merged psychedelic, heavy and classical flavours of rock. By now, Vescovi could afford a mellotron, offering mellow string textures on the track, "Little Janie". The excellent rhythm section throughout the album, courtesy of Andersen and Sinnone, was also notable. Speaking of Jimi Hendrix, the album also included the mournful requiem "Ode a J.Hendrix".

Personnel:
William Gray guitars,vocals
Arvid Andersen bass,lead vocals
Pino Sinnone percussion
Joe Vescovi organ,piano,church organ,mellotron

Tracks:
1. Caronte I 6:48
2. Two Brothers 8:18
3. Little Janie 4:02
4. L'Ultima ora e Ode a Jimi Hendrix 10:16
5. Caronte II 3:33

2 comments:

ZaXXoN said...

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robotsluvme said...

rad post!

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