ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Picchio dal Pozzo - 2023 - “In Camporella"

(40:41; Cuneiform Records)


This is the first time I have come across Italian Canterbury-inspired band Picchio Dal Pozzo who released two albums in the Seventies before disbanding in 1980. They reformed and released two albums in the early 2000’s, but since then there has been nothing. Then in 2020, just before the lockdown, guitarist and founder Paolo Griguolo received a CD labelled ‘Valdapozzo 05/30/2004’, from an unknown sender. He remembered they had played a fully improvised gig at the location where they had earlier recorded their last album, which at the time he thought had gone really well but when he played the CD, he was not so happy. But perhaps it could be cleaned up? The result is the first new album from Picchio Dal Pozzo (‘Woodpecker from the Well’ according to Google, what a great name) since 2004. It features founders Paolo and Aldo De Scalzi (keyboards, sampler, programming) along with long-time drummer Aldo Di Marco and saxophonist Claudio Lugo who joined the band when they reformed and appeared on the two later releases. Paulo says it may not be a masterpiece but was worked together, with the rules for the night being that everything was total improvisation based on the audio samples of Demetrio Stratos’ voice and some sequences of the album. There are indeed times when it feels improvised and people are waiting for the right moment to take over or working out how to best support, but there are others when it certainly feels as if it has been rehearsed. As well as a normal guitar, Paolo is using a synth guitar while the others all use samplers so there is a lot going on. De Scalzi has the most wonderful touch on piano, creating ripples of sounds, and providing wonderful backdrops for the others to work against while Di Marco shows how to keep percussion tight but also alive, always working and looking for the opportunity in a manner not dissimilar to Bruford. Having heard this I now wonder what the other albums are like, and if there is any possibility of something new? Fans of the Canterbury scene may be surprised to hear there is an Italian band performing this style of music, I certainly was, and it is well worth investigating.

Progtector: February 2024

Related Links:

Picchio dal Pozzo Cuneiform Records


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