Maxophone - Maxophone (1975)
Maxophone are one of those second tier Italian bands that generally aren't considered immediately essential or definitive, but it quickly becomes clear that this is yet another phenomenal album out of the country. Maxophone's biggest influence is definitely PFM, but also throw in some darker compositional colors akin to bands like Alusa Fallax or even Locanda Delle Fate. The band has an extremely rich and full symphonic sound with keys, guitar, organ, and a heavy emphasis on horns. Utterly fantastic melodies, but the band is also able to mix things up, adding some fusiony/jazz sections here and there to go along the soaring classically inspired passages.
The opener "C'e Un Paese Al Mondo" introduces a the band with a hard-edged electric guitar along with an awe-inspiring classical backdrop and superb intertwined vocal melodies. The band has two singers, one with a more high and thin PFM style, and the other with a lower and meatier sound more similar to the guy from Locanda Delle Fate. "Fase" is a blazing instrumental that introduces the jazzier side of the band, extremely complex and enjoyable. My favorite is probably "Elzeviro", which has a slight Locanda Delle Fate mixed with Genesis feel. Massive organ, beautiful classical melodies and more great vocal parts. This album should be a thoroughly enjoyable addition to any established fan of Italian progressive, very well done and elaborate symphonic.
Greg Northrup [March 2001]
Maxophone is another band from Italy who released one album and disappeared from the scene. Maxophone played complex progressive rock and just like Banco or Gentle Giant, their influences ranged further than symphonic/classical-inspired rock only. Jazz, folk and, occasionally, psychedelic elements are integrated very well in their music. Overall, they sound like a cross between PFM and Gentle Giant with echoes of Gabriel-era Genesis and ELP. Vocals are very good, although not as sophisticated as Gentle Giant. Besides the usual rock instrumentation, oher instruments including clarinet, flute, vibraphone and saxophone add to the variety in their music. A superb performance from the beginning to the end with no weak tracks. Another masterpiece from Italy.
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