Monday Notes

Perigee, Azimuth. Between progressive rock and free jazz

Italian flag
Leggi in Italiano

[Monday Notes no. 101] Perigeo is an Italian band that was active for a short time in the mid-1970s. Azimut is the title of a song and also of the band’s first record, the piece is blended between progressive rock, psychedelic music and free jazz. Franco d’Andrea’s solo on piano makes the track even more interesting.

Azimut opens with a spacious, timeless introduction, over which double bassist Giovanni Tommaso performs a theme built largely on the G pentatonic scale.

At minute 2’15” the guitar plays a more pronounced theme, accompanied by some chords. This motif is also derived from the pentatonic scale, which dominates this composition with its oriental flavor.

Azimut - parte prima
Azimut – part one

After the exposition of the first theme, the piano introduces the second part of the piece, which has a tempo of 7/4 (3’10” minute).

Azimut - piano vamp
Azimut – piano vamp introduction to part two

On these repeated chords the band plays a second theme, which is still realized on the pentatonic scale.

Azimut - parte seconda
Azimut – part two

The theme is followed by the only proper solo in the piece, performed on the piano by Franco D’Andrea, one of Italy’s most creative and original pianists. His improvisation does not follow the criteria of tonal music; it is based largely on the pentatonic scale, in whose use Franco D’Andrea is a true master.

Taken one by one, the elements of this piece are not particularly complicated. As is often the case in beautiful music, it is the unique combination of different elements that makes the whole interesting and engaging.

Until next Monday!

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