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Arti & Mestieri

First Live in Japan

(Moonjune; US: 26 Jan 2007; UK: Available as import)

Divided into two suites from two cult albums in the 1970’s, Arti & Mestieri’s jazz-cum-rock is a distinct relative of Zappa (Frank, not Moon Unit) with its winding feel, tempo-changes and fine musicianship. The opening “Tilt” suite begins with the intricate “Gravita 9.81” that has a point and isn’t annoying due to a low amount of musical “noodling”. Just as inviting are the violin-fuelled “Strips” that is more orchestral in tone but things pick up with “In Cammino”. Meanwhile, the longer and elaborate “Giro di Valzer per Domani” suite is just as pleasing, yet initially far more jazzier judging by the sax-saturated “Valzer per Domani”. Perhaps the prettiest moments here are the lovely combination of “Aria Pesante” and “Dimensione Terra” which is offset by the relaxing piano work during “Kawasaki”. And “Marilyn” shows off the fine drumming of Furio Chirico which complements the horn work. “2000” rounds this eclectic but inviting live album from a band who John Frusciante is apparently a huge fan of.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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