When I reviewed the album Live In Milano by UT, l'Anima Prog Dei New Trolls (see review) in 2012, I told a bit about the history of the Italian band New Trolls. This is rather important if you donīt what to be confused by the albums released by other bands calling themselves New Trolls. To cut the story short, in 1972 two of the original band members left after the band released UT. Those two, Maurizio Salvi (keyboards, vocals) and Gianni Belleno (drums, vocals) later on started a band named UT and performed the music of the New Trolls from when they were still in the band. Moreover they released the earlier mentioned live album plus the studio album Do Ut Des in 2013. In 2014 they released the live DVD Live@puccini.fi as UT New Trolls.
This features a concert recorded at the Teatro G. Puccini in Florence October 16, 2014. From the line up that was responsible for the recordings of the two releases of UT mentioned above the core members Gianni Belleno and Maurizio Salvi were still present when they climbed the stage in Florence. Also guitar player Claudio Cinquegrana stayed in the band to play along with the two original New Trolls members. They were at the time assisted by keyboard player Stefano Genti, bassist Paolo Zanetti and singer Umberto Dadā. As a special guest violin player Elisabetta Garetti was added to the line up. She is the concertmaster of the Orchestra Carlo Felice in Genoa.
The registration of the show was not filmed by HD cameras and therefore donīt expect to see a DVD of the highest possible level. Mind you, this does by no means mean that it was done in a bad way. The musicians can be seen from several hooks on stage. A lot of good close ups can be seen throughout the entire concert. A concert that originally lasted more than two hours, but only one and a half hour can be seen on this release. During this time the band played rather strongly. They started with an instrumental intro and continue with the composition I Cavalieri Del Lago Dell'Ontario and L'Amico Della Porta Accanto. The music moves much towards the style that bands such as Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake & Palmer played in their heyday. After that the already mentioned Elizabeth Garetti takes the stage and it is time for the music of the first two Concerto Grosso albums; Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls and Concerto Grosso N. II.
Both recorded and released by the New Trolls in the seventies, but composed by Luis Bacalov. Right from the start the classical influences come to the surface. Mainly thanks to the fantastic playing on the violin and the keyboards. Most of all a composer such as Vivaldi came to mind when I heard the fantastic progressive rock tunes with a classical touch! During the first part of this musical concept some time was reserved to improvise. This was done during Improvvisazioni Nella Sala Vuota. A short part of Deep Purpleīs Smoke On The Water was done, plus a drum solo. After selections of the Concerto Grosso albums, played in an excellent way, the band continued with Paolo E Francesca, Chi Mi Puo' Capire and C'E' Troppa Guerra. All three of them taken from the 1972 album UT. The first title has some nice blues elements next to the progressive rock influences. They ended with Oltre Il Cielo from their last studio album Do Ut Des plus the historical track Quella Carezza Della Sera, leaving the audience speechless and giving the band a standing ovation! A well deserved ovation indeed, because the musicianship on stage was of a very high level. I found out later that a part of the money that was earned was donated to the children of the Hospital Foundation Pediatric Anna Meyer in Florence. So in a way progressive rock music opens the door to solidarity as well!
Anybody who enjoys a good mix of the hard rock made by Deep Purple and the progressive rock of Emerson, Lake & Palmer combined with elements that could have been taken from the compositions written by Vivaldi is advised to check out this release. UT New Trolls brings them all together on Live@puccini.fi in a perfect way!
****- Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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