Latte E Miele -
Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi

(CD 2009, 52:43, Aereostella 0199312AER)

The tracks:
  1- San Marco(01:31)
  2- Carnival(03:15)
  3- Il Sogno(03:14)
  4- Via Si Va(03:33)
  5- I Crociati(08:06)
  6- Il Deserto Del Gobi(04:10)
  7- Il Matrimonio Del Bimbi Nel Vento(03:09)
  8- Pechino(04:52)
  9- Kubilai Kan(03:31)
10- L'ultimo Unicorno(03:23)
11- La Battaglia Di Curzola(05:31)
12- La Prigione(04:22)
13- Sogno Incrociato(02:16)
14- Ritorno A San Marco(01:35)

Latte E Miele Website        samples        Aereostella Records

Late 2008, I wrote in euphoric words about the return of the excellent classic Italian progressive rock formation Latte E Miele with their live album Live Tasting. The band - featuring three original members - recorded this album in Canada in 2008 for a small and selected group of prog heads. Latte E Miele performed work of their three studio albums from the seventies in a very impressive way. The final composition Vision Of Sunlight sounded pretty promising, so I wondered if this was the prelude to a new album.

And yes, indeed it was, because to my delight Latte E Miele released a new studio album: a concept about Marco Polo’s journey to China. Listening to Marco Polo Sogni E Viaggi, I must conclude that their current sound is in the vein of their latest album Aquile E Scoiattoli (1976), a melodic and harmonic blend of classical music, rock and symphonic that reminds me of the fantastic and early The Enid. However, Latte E Miele sounds more varied, inventive and virtuosic. Just listen to I Crociati containing a compelling final part with howling guitar and sumptuous classical orchestrations, Pechino having a strong interplay between guitar and Hammond-organ and La Battaglia Di Curzola with splendid keyboard work.

Every time I play this CD, I discover new things, which is the case with every good prog rock album. There is so much to enjoy here: bombastic organ with howling guitar runs in the opener San Marco. In Carnival you hear propulsive drums with piano and classical orchestrations, but also dreamy passages with cello. Il Matrimonio Del Bimbi Nel Vento is characterized by warm classical guitar, vocals and piano and La Battaglia Di Curzola has a fluent rhythm with sweeping drums and exciting interplay between guitar and Hammond. The alternating track Sogno Incrociato has wah-wah guitar and synthesizer runs and in the wonderful final track Ritorno A San Marco you can enjoy a compelling bombastic atmosphere featuring lush Hammond and moving guitar. What a come-back!

**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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