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Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica - Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica CD (album) cover


Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica

Symphonic Prog

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erik neuteboom
4 stars

FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM (after two non-review four star ratings)

In the late Eighties I discovered the awesome Japanese prog, first Gerard and Outer Limits, then bands like Pageant, Vienna, Cosmos Factory, Deja Vu and Ars Nova. This formation with the Italian inspired band name Pazzo Fanfano Di Musica is a kind of Japanese super progrock band featuring members from Outer Limits, Deja-Vu, Sirius, Teru's Symphonia and Mugen, impressive! The sound on this album is mainly based upon classical instruments like the violin, piano, guitar, flute and in some songs the distinctive harpsichord. I was carried away by a wonderful duet between a Steve Hackett-like acoustic guitar and flute and a swinging rhythm with piano and violin, it sounds like a blend of Outer Limits and Deja-Vu. Some tracks have a more dynamic climate featuring the ubiquitous Mellotron, organ and biting electric guitar. This is unique prog, recommended to all prog fans who appreciate classical music. Another four star rating, this time accompanied with a review, as it should be here on Prog Archives!

This is my review # 1000, I would like to dedicate it to the amazing and exciting Japanese progrock that has given me so many great moments, often loaded with The Mighty Tron!

Report this review (#126811)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now that I have given a few complete listens to this album, I consider myself incredibly lucky because I found this gem some time ago by pure randomness, without any recommendation whatsoever. And what a magical piece of music it turned out to be!

This album is a top notch mixture of classical music with prog, mainly Italian style. Gets off to a slow start but never gets boring, and picks up quickly to present top quality music. I'm everything but familiar with Japanese prog scene, yet I claim this must be one of its finest, maybe the finest. I consider this album as a 49 minute symphony, and I believe not many of you progheads will be disappointed by it, and the ones liking the classical touch in their music will most definitely be amazed by this unique work.

Anyway, I think this work is definitely a masterpiece, it shifted a couple of places in my all-time favourites list, therefore my rating is 5 shining stars.

Report this review (#132177)
Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars The first time I heard about PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA, I expected another Italian one hit wonder PFM clones, so when discovered in Prog Archives it was a Japanese band, my surprise was huge because even when the RPI influence in Japan bands is important, it's not the main element, so this should be interest

But this wasn't all, checking the credits I discovered names as Megumi Tokuhisa and Motoi Sakuraba (TERU'S SYMPHONIA and in the case of Megumi also MAGDALENA) ; Katsuhiko Hayash (MUGEN; Tomoki Ueno (MARGE LITCH, Deja Vu); etc. This was impressive, not only because we are talking about a Japanese super-group, but also because this guys were playing with two organs, two pianos and a Mellotron simultaneously in some parts of the album...This was a revelation, I had to own a copy of Pazzo Fanfano di Musica, so bought it immediately and must admit I'm addicted to it.

Normally Japanese bands take a bit of RPI, some 70's Symphonic, a bit of Jazz and lots of AOR, but PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA took elements from PFM and BANCO DEL MUTUO SOCCORSO, blended them with Baroque violin and Harpsichord"a la Vivaldi", added some pastoral flute with lyrics in Japanese and created a delicate fantasy without any trace of AOR that left me speechless...Why did I never heard about this album?

The record is opened by Prelude, a nice guitar (sounding like lute) intro that places the listener into Medieval territory announcing that this album will be something special and a great introduction for the extremely beautiful Fiori Per Algernon (Flowers for Algernon). Based in the short story and subsequent novel by Daniel Keyes.

This song is clearly dominated by the magic violin of Takashi Kawaguchi (OUTER LIMITS), first sweet and nostalgic, but as the song advances, the interplay with piano, percussion and vocals becomes haunting and extremely complex, with some Avant Garde touches. But what impressed me more are the vocals, because Megumi Tokuhisa's voice is extremely acute (Like in anime music), to the point that in some passages is almost painful, but in this album she controls the range making a sweet interpretation (first time i don't care for the lyrics in Japanese, she's so expressive, that i don't need to understand the words). A wonderful song that has everything a Proghead could expect.

Sospiri del Fiore (Sighs of the Flower) is a sweet pastoral song now dominated by the flute of Kazuhiro Miyatake (PAGEANT & MR SIRIOUS) and the acoustic guitar of Takashi Aramaki (Outer Limits) that takes us to Medieval territory, this track flows gently from start to end as a reliever between two powerful songs.

La Dolce Follia (The Sweet Madness) is simply breathtaking, from start to end keeps the listener at the edge of the seat, the once soft violin jumps from melodic and clean to frenetic and aggressive, this is pure Prog Rock in the vein of King Crimson, at least until the piano enters and leads to a weird baroque choir with a magnificent Hammond display, really a weird but passionate song.

As usual, after a strong song PAZZO FANFANO DI MUSICA relaxes the audience with Agilmente (Gracefully), a beautiful Baroque inte4rlude in the vein of Vivaldi, now performed by violin and harpsichord, followed by the even softer guitar based Intermezzo I .

Affetuoso (Affectionate), is a nostalgic song with a breathtaking violin, but despite the beauty, what amazed me more were the vocals, being that Megumi Tokuhisa offers one of the weirdest performance, seems like a Baroque Orchestra and vocals sung in Japanese, absolutely mind-blowing that works better because it's followed by Fragoroso, a pure Prog track with frenetic rhythm where the drummer Nobuyuku Sakurai works as a human metronome, perfectly supported by Tadashi Sugimoto in the bass (both from OUTER LIMITS), of course before the song ends we have several radical changes, plus excellent violin and piano passages that improve the listening experience even more.

After Intermezzo II that brings a bit of Japanese experience comes the formal and dramatic Onde (In order to), where the interplay between violin and piano gave me goosebumps, extremely beautiful.

The album ends with the 10:35 minutes mini epic Anniversario and the turn of Megumi Tokuhisa to take us through a mystical voyage, everything is calmed and soft until the seventh minute where the full bands enters into unexplored territory hitting us with everything they have and the most spectacular Hammond performance, a brilliant ending for a brilliant album.

After writing this review is clear that I consider this album a flawless masterpiece without any weak moment and gives us the chance to listen one of the very few (if not the only one) Japanese super-group that worked perfectly. So I will rate it with 5 solid stars that I give without hesitation.

Report this review (#744246)
Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I've finally been able to hear this amazing album for the first time and I am BLOWN AWAY! The medieval/Renaissance-influenced music I have been craving! It doesn't get better than this, folks. It is all the best of 70s RPI (especially BANCO, LE ORME and even PFM) combined with the pastoral sounds of STEVE and JOHN HACKETT a la Voyage of The Acolyte ("Suspiri del fiore"), and the most emotive of classical composers ("La dolce follia," "Agilmente" and "Affettuoso")--the Italians, of course. There are lots of strings, flutes, organ, Mellotron, classical guitar ("Intermezzo I" and "II") and even harpsichord. The vocals from female singer Megumi Tokuhisa are wonderful if quirky (especially because of the lyrics being in Japanese.) And the shocker of all is that this music is all composed and performed by an all-star band of Japanese musicians! "Fragoroso" is much jazzier, pure prog, with an uptempo, piano- and drums-driven sound, but otherwise the album is replete with nostalgiac references to the musics of Renaissance and Italian composers. The piano and violin duet that is "Ondine" is one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I've ever heard--reminding me of the music of Taiwan's lovely CICADA or the world's RYUICHI SAKAMOTO.

Folks, this is a masterpiece of timeless music--one for the ages--a collection of songs that will represent our crazy modern world far better than 99.99% of the stuff that's been put out for the past 100 years.

Report this review (#1052421)
Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Maybe a premature review. After read BrufordFreak previous review about this supergroup called Pazzo Fanfano di Musica, I promptly tried the whole album, and I'm listening to it until now. After a good time, I found a different symphonic prog album that sounds so sweet. RPI from Japan. That's totally crazy! I don't know why this is actually so unknown, but it keeps the album surprising even more. The pastoral, classical, and castle age folk music, all fused by great japanese musicians. A lot of brilliant passages, and sometimes it reminds me a lot of Steve Hackett. Fiori per Algernon, the second track, was my favorite moment. Goddamn perfect. The japanese female vocals fits perfect with the songs. I haven't found anything as good as this from post 70s japanese musicians since Yousei Teikoku, avant-garde random artists and video game soundtracks. The violin, the piano, guitar, the mellotron and organ, it would be a sin to skip any track of this masterpiece. The tracks has several radical changes, throwing some angry moments too. An awesome ecletic interpretation. A soft but complex album, full of special touches.
Report this review (#1053556)
Posted Friday, October 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Pazzo Fanfano di Musica is a very strange and unique record. It was made 1989 and sounds like NOTHING in the eighties. This extraordinary music would perhaps show up 1973 but 1989? Yes, this music was made 1989. In England? Italy? No totally wrong but in Japan, a prog land totally new for me. Even if there's similarities with many 70s groups I think it's totally different. I'll explain later. The cover shows a band playing with their traditional classic intruments in a castle like environment. I don't think the album had been released on vinyl, the Japanese where early with CD.

Many artist participates here: Takashi Aramaki on guitar, Katsuhiko Hayashi on organ, mellotron and clavicemballo, Takashi Kawaguchi on violin, Kazuhiro Miyatake on flute, Motoi Sakuraba on piano, Nobuyuki Sakurai on drums, Kyoko Sugimoto on piano and clavicemballo, Tadashi Sugimoto on bass, cello and contrabass, Megumi Tokuhisa on vocals and Tomoki Ueno on organ and mellotron. What they does it quite unique. I think Pazzo Fanfano di Musica is the opposite of Genesis which was a rock band taking inspiration from classical music. PFDM was a classical ensemble which took inspiration from rock music. This music is very classical(perhaps too much for somebody) and more than others the band is perfeclty defined symphonic.

The most classical parts are often my favourite such as "Sospiri del fiori" with wonderful playing on guitar and flute and the end is the best. "Agilmente" is pure barock music and "Fragoroso" is a rock piece, whirling and rocking, still in a classical landscape. Perfect collaboration between bass and piano. The last and longest track is also lovely, especially the second half where the rock really takes place. That track in classical music with mellotron and it also contains song.

Almost as good was "Fiori per Algernon", a symphonic masterwork where everything but the vocals are perfect. "La dolce follia" has angry guitar and an organ sounding like the good French band Ange and it contains beautiful flute. I would call it experimental barock. I also love "Onde" which is a long pure classical track. No track is bad, the lowest rating for one song is 8/10.

You shouldn't try this record if you don't like classical music and I think they could have rocked a little more. My only real problem is the vocals but they are so little frequent so I don't mind it. My fairest rating would have been 4,5 stars, but I don't doubt giving it five when I consider how odd this record is. I am happy I could find it on Youtube. Listen you too, it's far too unknown right now.

Report this review (#1056497)
Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars 7000em rating on this web site I have all that music and much more This is a master piece of symphonic prog with classical influence with style like banco This is a amazing find Thanks to progarchive for it . This was compose and release in 89 wen disco was the music sad timing the web got it back to Us Thank god This was hard to get ! I reorder this 6 or 7 times payd over $100. for it I enjoy every penny of it ( looking for music [email protected] ) Very tutching album very theatral ambience Just love the al cd
Report this review (#1310792)
Posted Monday, November 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the once album Pazzo Fanfano di Musica. I was surprised because I had never expected to hear this kind of music from Japanese musicians. Curiously, the group from Japan, but takes the title in Italian. And the cover also evokes associations with representatives of the Italian progressive rock. This album is the sole work of the group, and was released in 1989. Despite the publication date, the record sounds really good. Songs with vocals are performed mostly in Japanese. But this does not affect the overall impression. All very nicely combined. The material in the album is a very harmonious blend of classical and Symphonic Prog. The works have a tremendous musicality. From approximate analogies you can cite the works of bands like Maneige (album "Les Porches"), Renaissance ("Scheherazade And Other Stories") and the group from Russia Pandora Snail, which is on his debut album "War and Peace" is also very successfully combined rock and classical components. From what I have heard from Japanese musicians, Pazzo Fanfano di Musica made me a most vivid impression!

My rating: 5 stars. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#1320100)
Posted Friday, December 5, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the sole work of the group, and was released in 1989. Songs with vocals are performed mostly in Japanese. The material in the album is a harmonious blend of classical and Symphonic Prog featuring acoustic instruments like the piano, organ, Mellotron, harpsichord, cello, violin, acoustic guitar and flute. A lot of brilliant passages. Some of the moments on this album are simply magical. Fiori per Algernon, Fragoroso, Onde, Agilmente and Intermezzo I - my favorite track. It is a masterpiece of progressive rock! Recommended for Progressive Rock veterans and Italian Prog-Rock lovers; and if you are into classical music this work might please you.
Report this review (#1824153)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars A magnificent supergroup project from Japan, bringing together various figures from the 1980s prog scene there to produce a delightful tribute to the Italian scene of the 1970s. Rather than copying the distinctive style of any specific Italian prog band, the collective instead blend together influences from PFM to Banco and incorporate an extensive amount of the baroque classical influences the Italian bands themselves loved, yielding a fantastical musical journey which exonerates the prog credentials of each and every one of the participants.

I fully intend to go trawling through the discographies of the various bands whose members contributed to this project, because it's clear that I have overlooked the Japanese prog scene of the 1980s for far too long. Whilst in the Anglosphere we were still making do with neo-prog and full-bore symphonic prog releases had not yet had the resurgence that would later arise, clearly in Japan the spirit of classic prog was alive and well and working through talented musicians like these.

Report this review (#1866038)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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