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Track List: 1. Obertura 3:58 2. El venderor de promesas-1 5:38 3. El hombre del adagio 9:24 4. Final Instrumental 1:22 5. Preludio 2:07 6. Suefios de Ofelia 12:20 7. El venderor de promesas-2 4:12 8. Final 1:19 Bonus tracks: 9. Ellios los mares 3:58 10. Manias de Graciela 3:26 11. Limpia silueta 2:50 All music: by L. Nebbia. All arrangements: by Nebbia, Astarita, & Gonzales. All lyrics: by Mirtha DEFILPO. Line-up: Litto Nebbia - - acoustic & electric piano, clavier, - Mini-Moog synth, & ARP string ensemble; - electric & acoustic guitars; lead vocals Nestor Astarita - - drums & various percussion; backing vocals Jorge Gonzales - - contrabass; harp; backing vocals Produced by N. Astarita. Engineered by Jorge Silva at "Sound Center", Buenos Aires. Reissue co-produced by Melopea / Viajero Inmovil.
Preamble. This limited edition CD reissue of the only (?) LP by the Argentinean multi-instrumentalist and composer Litto Nebbia includes all tracks from the original "El Venderor de Promesas" album and three bonus tracks.
The Album. Originally subtitled as "A Rock Symphony", "El Venderor de Promesas" is a concept album, so I think I should describe the contents of it first. It consists of eight tracks, precisely half of which - both of the first and the last tracks from each side of the original LP (i.e. 1, 4, 5, & 8) - are the instrumental pieces: Overture, Final Instrumental, Prelude, & Final. Overture is overall of the same predominant stylistics of the album that most of the songs here are about and represents a highly original, diverse, and very intriguing (often, simply mind-blowing) Classic Symphonic Art-Rock in the best traditions of the old 'n' gold Progressive of the 1970s. And here are those three songs (lyrics are in Spanish) that Overture is much in the vein of (the only significant distinction being the presence of the vocals here, of course): El venderor de promesas-1, El hombre del adagio, and Suefios de Ofelia (2, 3, & 6). The first of them is the only composition on the album where a few of the elements of Jazz-Fusion are interwoven with basic symphonic structures. The vocals are of a romantic rather than dramatic character on all of these songs. While the instrumental arrangements that are present on all four of the aforementioned tracks are most of all notable for kaleidoscopic changes of a wide variety of different musical events, done almost exclusively with the use of unusual meters, and a highly masterful musicianship of each of the band members. Above, you can see how is large the arsenal of instruments used on "El Venderor de Promesas" and almost all of those instruments were used throughout the album. The only exception being an acoustic guitar (Spanish guitar, to be precise), the solos of which are present only on Suefios de Ofelia. It must be said that these solos are as virtuosi and tasteful as those of electric guitar, contrabass, various keyboard and percussion instruments (with drums being 'at the head' of the latter of them, of course). Using the language of intentional tautologies, I must note that vocals, backing vocals, and vocalizes are excellent everywhere where they are, and there are two more tracks on this wonderful album where they are: El venderor de promesas-2 and Final Instrumental (tracks 7 & 4 respectively). The first of them is an amazingly beautiful ballad of a dramatic character, though all of the instrumental arrangements are here quite intricate. Structurally, all three of the remaining instrumentals are in many ways similar among themselves, as well as those five tracks that I have described first. Final Instrumental is a Classical Music-like piece where there are only passages of an acoustic piano and vocalizes. Prelude (5), which is a piece of real Classical Music, consists exclusively of the piano passages, all of which are here fantastically diverse and virtuosi. Finally, on Final (8), there are only whistles and chords of piano. The last track on the CD, Limpia silueta (11), represents a real operetta where the (wonderful!) vocals by all of the band's three members are done to the accompaniment of passages of still the same acoustic piano. To be honest, I'd prefer to see this song on track 8 instead of a very short Final and vice versa. Both of the remaining tracks on the CD: Ellios los mares and Manias de Graciela (9 & 10), are in the vein of the complex ballad El venderor de promesas-2 (7).
Summary. Above all, I'd like to express my thanks to the people at the Argentinean Viajero Inmovil Records for their truly progressive activity. Today, there are too few of the Prog labels, the work of which would be as steadily devoted to the best examples of the best music in the world as that of Viajero Inmovil. The CD reissue of Litto Nebbia's "El Venderor de Promesas", which, in my honest opinion, is one of the Top-20 albums released in the second half of the 1970s, is undoubtedly one of the most important Prog events happened for the last two years, at least.
VM: December 13, 2002
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