Sunday, 23 October 2011

A TASTY RECIPE

Court is prog band from Varese that was formed in 1990 by five skilled young musicians: Paolo Lucchina (vocals), Mosè Nodari (guitars, oboe and recorders), Luigi Bonacina (bass), Andrea Costanza (guitar) and Francesco Vedani (drums, flute and recorders).


Their debut album, “And You'll Follow The Winds' Rush 'till Their Breath Dwells”, was recorded in Germany and released in 1993 by the indie label Music Is Intelligence. It features a very interesting and fresh blend of rock and classical influences... If you like bands like The Strawbs, Gryphon and Amazing Blondel I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

A short instrumental opener “Rising The Tale” leads to the long and complex epic “Alviss’ Revenge” that tells a cruel story inspired by Nordic Sagas... “Flying from the south / Maidens came through the dark forest / Young Goddesses they were Valkyries / On the seashore they set to rest / Spinning precious flax...”. The music flows for more than fifteen minutes avoiding the kingdom of boredom...

“Lovers” is a beautiful, tragic prayer, a particular ballad with a dramatic “Romantic” feeling while the next track, the dreamy  “Eckol” reminds me slightly of Gryphon and Angelo Branduardi... “I’ve fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / I’ve fallen asleep dreaming of colours growing inside / Night! It’s the time, I’ll have my best / See you next sunset, Eckol my friend...”.


The long and complex “Cries” is a beautiful “anti-war epic”... While the music goes through many changes in rhythm and atmosphere the lyrics describe the celebration for the return of a victorious army... But in the crowd someone can’t stand it, a soldier who is speaking up against his mind: “There is no meaning, nonsense is war / We claim for us the rights of lands / As slaves we humble before a tyrant / And him we pray though he slew us / I lost my will in lies of king / I blinded my eyes and denied my dreams / I lost the chance to smile to dawn / To hope at dusk and fly by night...”.

“Willow Tears” is an amazing instrumental for guitar, while “Mirth For A Guest” is another short and joyful piece that recalls Gryphon. “The Song Of The Omniscent Dwarf” is a long ballad that every now and again reminds me of Amazing Blondel and that tells the story of a dwarf cheated by the God Odin and petrified by the sun. The instrumental “R.” and “Fading The Tale” close this excellent work.

The whole album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band. So, have a try! Click HERE


Four years after their excellent debut work Court released “Distances”, an album featuring less folk and medieval influences and a soft, refined rock sound that every now and again could recall Pink Floyd. Here you can find “wider spaces”, “purer sounds” and “crimson reveries in a cage of beauty and grace”.  

“Does my singing live just when someone is enjoying it? / Or maybe it behaves like the wind that blows over seas although there are no leaves to stir? / I say: It lives because someone has lived and sang it... it lives because someone has lived...”. After the short instrumental opener “Shantàl (Far)”, the hypnotic and melancholic “The Turn I Was Gifted” drives you in a dreamy mood, followed by “Joy” (where the rhythm takes off like a “Zeppelin”), “The Spell Of The Rain” and the acoustic instrumental “View Gone”. The words and music draw moony soundscapes where acoustic guitars and flutes are in the forefront... Then comes the amazing long, complex epic “Sumptuous Moment”, inspired by the poetry of Emily Dickinson, my favourite track on this album, closer to the sound of their previous work, where folk influences are blended with a strong classical romantic flavour. Good also the other epic “Carved Box” and the soft instrumental “Close”... “The box is now closing / With her walk through the time / Kept safe inside...”.

Since the album can be legally downloaded for free from the official website of the band, have a try and judge it by yourselves! Click HERE


Court’s third album, “Frost Of Watermelon”, was released in 2007, ten years after “Distances”. It’s more heterogeneous and features a richer sound. The line up features a new guitarist, Marco Strobl, who stepped in taking the place of Andrea Costanza and during the recording sessions the band was helped by some guest musicians... The “recipe” is tasty and well balanced, including “ingredients” such as classical and acoustic guitars, mellotron, recorders and glockenspiel along with powerful bass lines, electric guitars and “smashed pumpkins”. Well, this band is not stuck in the past and you can find on this work not only echoes of Genesis and Pink Floyd but some “grungy passages” as well.

“I will be back again / Just to step and fly away / Believe me / I founded my world on a dream...”. In my opinion the highlights on this album are the dreamy “My World” and the hypnotic, mysterious instrumental “Bridge To Maya”. Interesting also the long and complex suite “Mad and Child” and the acoustic ballad “When I Lose”. The overall result is very good, so... “Sprinkle on the frost of watermelon” with slivers of dark chocolate, put the bowls in the fridge and serve cold”!

This album was immediately followed by a tour in the USA and the young Jacopo Favrin replaced Luigi Bonacina on bass. The tour culminated in an unforgettable concert in Hollywood, the band was spotted by some US promoters who convinced them to enter the Los Angeles Music Awards and in November 2007 Court were awarded Best Alternative Band by the jury. In 2009 a new vocalist, Marco Pedrini, took the place of Paolo Lucchina. The story continues...


Read the interview with the band on Progarchives, click HERE


More info: