After some searching on the internet, I found out that the Italian multi-instrumentalist Fabio Zuffanti is the initiator and member of several Italian bands like Finisterre, La Maschera Di Cera, H÷stsonaten and Aries. Beside the recordings he made with these bands, Zuffanti made four solo albums: Ir (2009), Fabio Zuffanti (2009) Ghiaccio (2010) and La Foce Del Ladrone (2011). Recently he recorded his fifth solo album La Quatra Vittina (= the fourth victim) together with quite a number of guest musicians.
The album is introduced with some spoken words in Italian by Zuffanti. The first piece Non Posso Parlare Piu Forte is a splendid instrumental mixture of flute solos, dark heavy guitars and alternating rhythms. The middle-section of this eleven-minute piece is quite calm with synths and lyrics in the vein of Roger Waters (Pink Floyd). This piece also contains a remarkable guitar solo by Laura Marsano, which is quite similar to those of Nick Barrett (Pendragon) during The Window Of Life (1993) and The Masquerade Overture (1996) era. It surprisingly ends with a boisterous and jazzy cacophony.
I guess one of the finest songs on this CD is La Certezza Impossibile with its relaxed rhythms, saxophone sounds, romantic Italian lyrics and two fabulous guitar solos. Again the Pink Floyd influences can be easily recognized. However, the third song L'Interno Di Un Volto clearly put me on the wrong track. It starts with the heavy and bombastic side of Zuffanti, but suddenly the saxophone changes it into a modern jazz song. The short four-minute title track is one hundred percent experimental jazz, and that's certainly not my cup of tea.
Sotto Un Cielo Nero starts as an early Genesis-song and holds some musical surprises like the kind of silly piano play by Luca Scherani, the inventive drumming by Paolo Tixi and a violin solo by Fabio Biale. Next song Il Circo Brucia has some similarities with the music of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but with a jazzy undertone. Again Zuffanti changed it into a melting pot of all kind of musical styles. For me, the final song Una Sera D'Inverno is the highlight of La Quattra Vittima in which Laura Marsano is responsible for one of the finest guitar solos I've ever heard: a mixture of the guitar work of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Eric Clapton and Nick Barrett.
If you like a kind of experimental progressive rock music with a jazzy feel than you have to listen to the fifth solo album by this Italian musical jack of all trades.
***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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