Amigdala began life in Naples in 2008 as a “laboratory of instrumental music” with the aim to blend jazz with progressive rock and avant-garde. In 2012 the band released a début album on the independent label Suoni del Sud, “Opere Omus”, with a line up featuring Marco Gesualdi (guitars), Vittorio Nicoletti Altimari (bass), Carmine Brachi (drums), Luca Toller (piano, synthesizers) and Francesco Gallo (sax, flute). During the recording sessions they were helped by many guests (among others Lino Vairetti from Osanna) who contributed to enrich the sound with good results. Amigdala's sources of inspiration range from The Beatles to Frank Zappa and Weather Report, from Osanna and Napoli Centrale to Area but they managed to add to their music a touch of originality.
The beautiful opener “Intifada” begins with the piano evoking the race of a White Elephant in a dark September day, then the sax starts to weave threatening plots with a strong Middle-Eastern flavour. Next comes the title track where Area's influences are even more evident thanks to the vocals provided by the guests Luca Saccoia and Marco Francini who recall Demetrio Stratos... “An unknown desire calls me in the enchanted city / Stronger than a book, stronger than a game / In the music street there are smiles and guitars / Forests of sounds, horizons of joy / Hooters, narrow alleys, ghosts, queens / Come here, come here...”. The finale of this piece is freely taken from Igor Stravinsky's “Bird of Fire”.
“No One” is a nice instrumental track where the fusion influences take you on an imaginary voyage across the Ocean. It leads to “Sinistro” (Sinister) where a string quartet interacts with the jazz rock sensibility of the band adding more musical colours with interesting results as in the following “29.S” where you can find echoes of Tango and clouds of passionate nostalgia flying around.
“La mela di Odessa” (The Apple from Odessa), is an Area's cover featuring Lino Vairetti on vocals. As you probably know, the lyrics tell in a surreal way the story of a Dadaist artist called Apple who, soon after the Russian Revolution, hijacks a German ship and delivers her to the Bolsheviks in Odessa where they blow her up. It's not an easy subject but the interpretation here is personal and filled with irony.
“Unisono” is a short jazzy instrumental that leads to the swinging “Sir Ralph”, featuring the guest Marcello Coleman (from Almamegretta) on vocals... “Sensibility and feelin' / This is the music who's fillin' my brain / Keep on runnin' / Keep on jumpin' / Keep on movin'...”. The last track “Macumba” features the guests Maurizio Capone on percussion and Riccardo Veno on flute. It comes from the repertoire of a previous band where militated Marco Gesualdi, Vittorio Nicoletti Altimari and Maurizio Capone and features a strong Mediterranean flavour.
On the whole, a good album from a very interesting band.