Guido Umberto Sacco -
Music For Dodos

(CD 2014, 69:34, Tranquilo TRQ 100)

The tracks:
  1- Il Quadrato Magico (Iridescenze)(7:33)
  2- Ricercare Sulla Cerchiatura Del Quadrato
        (Omaggio A Conlon Nancarrow)
  3- Wildstyle (2nd Version)(6:05)
  4- Turqueries: I.(7:29)
  5- Turqueries: II(3:04)
  6- Turqueries: III.(5:33)
  7- O Rei Do Futebol (2nd Version)(4:20)
  8- Suite Delle Maschere: I(1:59)
  9- Suite Delle Maschere: II(1:21)
10- Suite Delle Maschere: III(3:22)
11- Suite Delle Maschere: IV(1:50)
12- Suite Delle Maschere: V(4:05)
13- Suite Delle Maschere: VI(3:45)
14- Suite Delle Maschere: VII(2:10)
15- Suite Delle Maschere: VIII(1:38)
16- Inno All'Aquilone (Con La Testa Tra Le Nuvole)(5:15)
17- Ordre XV from Troisième Livre De Pièces De
        Clavecin: II. Le Dodo, Ou L'Amour Au Berçeau

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The Italian musician and composer Guido Umberto Sacco was born in 1981. He began his musical career at the age of seven. He studied classical music, composition and piano at the Conservatory of Brescia. The list goes on and on what he did as well to get to a very high level to be a professional concert pianist and keyboard player. His own compositions have been and are performed in theatres, he also writes film music and stylistically diverse piano music. Music For Dodos is the first album by this musician that was sent to me by him for a possible review.

I guess many reviewers in the progressive rock genre have problems reviewing the type of music he presented on this release. On this album you will hear music in the tradition of Western classical music. The contemporary influences come from the fields of progressive rock, avant-garde, jazz and ethnic music. You could say his musical manuscript breaks down barriers and bind different, independent types of music. First, the classically trained pianist manuscript is to be admired. Technically masterful, incredibly virtuosic, playful and well versed with powerful approach he plays his own compositions, making it look as if it were easy. And some of them are on pace hard to fathom. It's easy to say that the compositions which feature Sebastian Persini on drums are the most enjoyable for lovers of our musical genre. His strong beats certainly lift the music to an even higher level as already is present throughout the entire album. The track which is probably the closest for the progressive rock audience is the composition Wild Style (2nd Version). It is not only the thumping drums with pumping bass, but also the electric keys ensemble which brings a lot of musical enjoyment in the hearts of many progheads. No other track on this CD is so closely aligned to progressive rock. However it doesn't mean the other compositions are less enjoyable. Most of all if you are open minded to other musical genres you will hear a lot of fantastic music. For instance on the three parts divided Turqueries you will be impressed how he submits the best jazz, prog and chamber music parts in one excellent piece of music. These compositions are very welcome and give some air to the complex piano parts that adorn the other compositions.

O Rei Do Futebol (2nd Version) is also a fine piece of music. It begins as a vaudeville piece and sounds very humorous. Mainly because the use of the saxophone and accordion , which work fine in contrast with the piano, bass and drums. Another highlight is the sublime Suite Delle Marschere which consists of eight parts and is truly a feast for the ears. It is built entirely from balmy, beautiful cello parts where you can listen to for hours if you are in the right mood. It was played by Vincenzo Mocata all alone. The second cello track was laid over the first one. Although it is a none progressive rock composition it certainly has its charm. Another fine non prog tune is Inno Alla Aquilone (Con La Testa Tra Le Nuvole). It begins almost like film music and is played on the piano in a very poetic, romantic and lyrical form. Very charming, brash and quite contrasting. The closing De Dodo, Ou L'Amour Au Berceau is the only composition which Guido didn't compose himself. François Couperin wrote this thoughtful piano piece. Sacco interprets it intimate, warm and beautifully on the grand piano.

Music For Dodos is ideal for the enthusiast with an open mind who looks beyond mere progressive rock. Progressive rock, jazz and classical music are here walking hand in hand through an impressive musical landscape. The complex but airy compositions will please a lot of people, if you give it a chance.

**** Henri Strik(edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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