Thursday, 12 April 2018

ON A NEW LEVEL

Born in Siena in 1970 from the ashes of two other bands called respectively Arf Arf and I Diamanti, Livello 7 had been active until 1976, initially as a cover band and then playing original music inspired by bands such as Weather Report and Perigeo. Although they were very popular in their home town, in those years the band never had the chance to release an album. After the band split up, one of the former members of Livello 7, Franco Caroni, turned to jazz and in 1983 formed another band called Juice Group to play fusion but the project had an ephemeral life. It wasn’t until 2013 that Franco Caroni met with some other musicians to work on the material of his previous bands and on some new composition forming a new band, Acqua Libera. After a hard, painstaking work in the studio, in 2016 Acqua Libera self-released an eponymous debut album with a line up featuring, along with Franco Caroni (bass), Jonathan Caradonna (keyboards – from Profusion), Fabio Bizzarri (guitar – from Vicolo Margana) and Marco Tosi (drums, percussion – also from Vicolo Margana). It’s a real good work where jazz rock and progressive rock influences are perfectly blended with great musicianship and maturity...


The opener “Tempi moderni” (Modern Times) is a wonderful track where melody and rhythm give life to the shadows and lights of a modern, busy world. The title seems to refer to a 1936 silent comedy film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin in which his iconic Little Tramp character struggles to survive in the modern, industrialized world while on a short video posted by the band on YT they chose a drawing of Battersea Station (without flying pigs) to symbolize the good and bad consequences of modernity and progress...

The following “Nautilus” is another excellent piece that could be a perfect score for an exotic maritime adventure. The title refers to the fictional submarine captained by Nemo featured in Jules Verne's novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea (1870) and The Mysterious Island (1874)...


The nocturnal “Alla luce della luna” (Under the moonlight) comes from the old repertoire of Livello 7 and was originally entitled “Undiciottavi” (Eleven-eight time) after its time signature. It’s a long, complex piece that evokes dreamy atmospheres and far echoes coming from the dark side of the moon...

The lively, light-hearted “Mr. Lou” was composed in the eighties by keyboardist Luigi Campoccia and comes from the legacy of the Juice Group. It was re-arranged by Acqua Libera that gave to it a new life. It leads to the more recent “Marcina” where strange, haunting waltzes merge into cheerful jazzy passages and vice versa...

Acqua Libera 2016

The title of the following “Sans tambour ni musique” (With no drums, no music) was taken from the verse of a poem by Charles Baudelaire… — And long hearses, with no drums, no music, file slowly through my soul: Hope, conquered, cries, and despotic atrocious agony plants on my bent skull its flag of black… (translation by Geoffrey Wagner from Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire, Grove Press, 1974). Here the music blossoms like a flower of evil in a rainy spring day...

Then comes the tense, frenzied “Quo vadis”. Quo Vadis (Latin for "Where are you going?") is also the title of a 1951 American epic film directed by Mervyn LeRoy and set in ancient Rome during the final years of Emperor Nero's reign. Although in the liner notes you can’t find any link between this track and the film, I think that it could be a really good soundtrack for a thriller...

The last track, “Prog Mood”, is another piece taken from the repertoire of Livello 7 and was originally entitled “Seiottavi” (Six-eight time). It’s a piece full of energy and sudden changes in atmosphere that closes and album that absolutely worth listening to...

You can listen to the complete album HERE

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