In 1971 the Italian band The New Trolls recorded their most famous album Concerto Grosso No. 1. This album is still recognized to be one of the most important Italian prog rock releases ever. This record pushed the band in a new musical direction. It was the first Italian effort to blend rock music with classical influences. One year later they produced the albums Searching For A Land and UT, which contained music that could be compared to other progressive rock bands from that era like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Genesis and King Crimson. Nowadays these three albums by The New Trolls are still highly recommended. On these albums Maurizio Salvi (keyboards, vocals) and Gianni Belleno (drums, vocals) participated. Both musicians don't belong to the band's current line-up, but in a way they're still connected with their past! I'll tell you why.
Salvi and Belleno started UT (Uno Tempore), subtitled or nicknamed l'Anima Prog Dei New Trolls (the prog soul of The New Trolls). This band was formed by the two musicians who played on UT (1972) by The New Trolls. Their first live-CD Live In Milano was recorded on March 30, 2012 at the Teatro Smeraldo in Milan during the concert event Night New Trolls. With the help of Andrea Perrozzi (keyboards, vocals), Claudio Cinquegrana (guitar, vocals) and Fabri Kiareli (bass, vocals) they let the music of The New Trolls revive. Included are some of the most famous songs from the band's repertoire without forgetting the obligatory Concerto Grosso No. 1.
Listening to these famous songs from this historic progressive band from Genoa felt really good. The fine mixture of prog rock, hard rock and classical music can be heard throughout the album. It's a delight to listen to Maurizio Salvi's keyboard parts. His style of playing could be compared to Keith Emerson (ELP, The Nice). Therefore it isn't strange at all that some tracks are linked with those bands. Listen for example to Studio-XXII Strada, L'Amico Della Porta Accanto and Introitus Infernalis and you'll get my drift. In the early seventies The New Trolls used to sound as famous hard rock bands. That can also be heard on this album as well. Deep Purple is omnipresent on tracks as l'Amico Della Porta Accanto and Lying Here. Strangely enough a guitarist known from a later period of time can be recognized as well on Live In Milano. On Paolo E Francesca it seems as if the late Gary Moore played a nice musical intro. I think it's obvious that the album ends by a piece of music taken from Concerto Grosso No. 1. The Allegro part ends the album in a classical way with a fine bombastic piece dominated by keyboards and electric guitar.
If you're a lover of the music The New Trolls produced in their early days this album certainly is a compulsory purchase. People who enjoy a mixture of hard rock, classical music and progressive rock should listen to Live In Milano as well. They will discover that these veterans of Italian rock music are still capable of playing their music just like in the seventies!
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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