L'Estate di San Martino began life in Perugia in 1975 on the initiative of Marco Pentiricci and Giuseppe Petrazzini. In the seventies the band had no chance to release a full length album and it wasn't until 2006, after a long hiatus and many line up changes, that they managed to release their début work, “Alder”, a concept album recorded live in 1983. In 2007 the band released a second album called “Febus”, featuring old stuff from the nineties re-arranged, and, finally, in 2012 they released what is their best work so far, “Talsete di Marsantino”, on the independent label AMS/BTF.
The current line up features Marco Pentiricci (sax, flute, acoustic guitar), Riccardo Regi (electric and acoustic guitar), Stefano Tofi (keyboards, vocoder, acoustic guitar), Massimo Baracchi (bass) and Sergio Servadio (drums) but during the recording sessions they were helped by some prestigious guests such as Steve Hackett (electric guitar), Francesco Di Giacomo (vocals) and Bernardo Lanzetti (vocals). The result in my opinion is excellent and this work is a must to have for every prog collector.
“Talsete di Marsantino” is a concept album based on a short story by Riccardo Regi that you can find in the booklet (if you can't speak Italian do not worry, in the booklet there's a translation into English as well). The protagonist of the story is an imaginary character, an archivist who in an Autumn day receives a mysterious letter containing nothing but a verb: “to pick”. The album is almost completely instrumental, there are some jazzy passages but calm, dreamy atmospheres prevail. As time is running out the protagonist has to hurry to collect memories, sounds from the past, fragments of human knowledge and dreams. What kind of link can you find between an enormous clock hidden in a mountain that chimes just one time per century, the strange fossil of a bacteria and an ancient lake in California?
Maybe the beautiful vocals provided by Francesco Di Giacomo could give you a clue... “It will only take a time equal to eight to this last work / If standing towards North it will be East / And standing towards South it will be West...”. Is it not clear? Well, all in all it doesn't matter: just let the music draw you away! If you like bands such as Genesis, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso or Premiata Forneria Marconi I'm sure you'll enjoy this magnificent album as well.
You can watch L'Estate di San Martino on stage HERE
L'Estate di San Martino: Talsete di Marsantino (2012). Other opinions:
Jim Russell: I would describe the composition as music that is "soaring" as if the soundtrack to footage shot from aircraft above rugged coastlines and the like. Relaxing and sometimes not gripping enough for my personal tastes, yet, there are certainly times when I would find it appealing. A well made, ambitious disc for fans of the refined progressive rock... (read the complete review HERE)