Friday, 26 June 2015

Bellvista's The Painter from the US 1982 [review no download]

This magnificent album in the progressive fusion vein is the mastermind of Peter Calo, and predictably it's guitar-oriented and smooth, but excellent and unknown.

The Poet:

I've listened to this track a hundred times and every time I just get sucked into it again listening to what this genius guitarist was trying to tell us with his slow-paced E flat introduction, almost sounding improvised, leading into plucked, pizzicato chords in G and a melody in unison on 1st and 6th strings octaves apart, then conjoined with those absolutely gorgeous high harmonics played  almost simultaneously (like Lenny Breau was able to do).  I'm reminded of the poem by Baudelaire about Albatrosses who are caught on long sea voyages by sailors, their wings are clipped and they must remain on the boat's deck as the cruel humans amuse themselves with these giants birds.  Thus, the kicker in the last stanza: The poet is similar to this bird who wishes he could fly but can't and instead walks the earth ungainly and awkward, to be laughed at by everyone.  And one could say the same about any serious artists-- including the composer of this record, certainly.

Next, the Painter, which is somewhat more commercialized fusion:

And the song entitled Belle Vista just shocked me too with its fade-in approach of a delicate deconstructed A chord passing from major to minor like the doppler shift of a streetcar rumbling by, then the very evocative scene, perhaps Napa valley, of rolling hills created with the light chord change from A to D minor to C to Bsus, which beautifully moves to B major, G, B, G, A, then D minor again, C, Bsus.  This sequence which sounds so odd on paper works absolutely perfectly due to the fact the B melody recalls the same arpeggio of the A intro (and the preceding Bsus sounds like that same minor to major transfer) and the 'return to' A recalls the same phrase.  Only until the guitar solo do the chords clarify themselves as such, it's kind of like an aural illusion (analogous to the optical kind) as the B and A sound like the same.  Have a listen:

And stay until the end when the outro takes off in a chord progression that is really unexpected, not the usual circle of fourth type series.   A lot of thought or alternatively a lot of inspiration went into that track.  Was he sitting on one of those (godawful) trenitalia in Tuscany, perhaps, when he thought of it?

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