The present incarnation of Osanna took off on the initiative of founder member Lino Vairetti, who gathered around him a bunch skilful young musicians such as Gennaro Barba (drums), Fabrizio Fedele (guitar), Nello D’Anna (bass), Sasà Priore (keyboards) and Lino’s son Irvin Vairetti (synth). In 2008 they were in tour, with David Jackson as an additional member, performing new versions of their best pieces. I had the chance to attend one of their shows and I was struck by the vitality and the enthusiasm of all the musicians on stage.
Osanna could have tried to capture the energy of their performances in a live album, instead... They chose to record the new versions in studio looking for the best sound quality available and received the precious help of friends such as David Cross, Tim Stevens, Gianni Leone, Oderigi Lusi, Sophya Baccini and others... Well, this album is not a simple collection of old stuff and the result is absolutely good (far better than their previous work “Uomini e miti”). Osanna’s family tree has got deep roots and the “hot gold” of their music still glitters, although reshaped with a modern taste. All the tracks are linked as in a long suite and every track fades imperceptibly into something else...
The opener and classical inspired “Tema”, from the OST of “Milano Calibro 9”, melts into a fiery “Animale senza respiro” (from Palepoli) that ends into a nervous “Mirror Train” from the debut album “L’uomo”... Osanna and David Jackson perfectly work together giving new life to pieces of music that are part of the history of Italian progressive rock, the music flows for more than seventy minutes without weak moments and the sound is perfect. Less known episodes as “’A zingara” and “Ce vulesse ce vulesse” from the album “Suddance” or “Il castello dell’Es” from “Landscapes Of Life” here are brilliant and convincing like the tracks taken from “Palepoli” or “L’uomo”. There are many changes in atmosphere and rhythm, from classical to traditional “canzone napoletana” (you can even find quotes of “Funicolì Funicolà” and “O sole mio”), from the bluesy and Mediterranean “Neapolitan Power” to the British prog of VDGG’s “Theme One”. It’s like a long breathless running from the start to the finish line where you can’t stop!
The packaging is very good as well, featuring a funny art cover design by Lino Vairetti himself and a booklet featuring many pictures and all the lyrics.