The Italian band OAK (Oscillazioni Alchemico Kreative) was formed in 1993 by singer and multi instrumentalist Jerry Cutillo. The man is known as composer of important TV tunes, ethnic music research and his Jethro Tull tribute with OAK. Needless to mention that he is an excellent flute player.
“Giordano Bruno” is a prestigious project, a Progressive Rock Opera about the life of Giordano Bruno (born as Filippo Bruno in 1546). He was an Italian philosopher, mathematician, poet and cosmological theorist. A free spirit who rejected several Catholic beliefs and had ideas of an infinite universe and about other existing worlds with intelligent beings living there. These were dangerous thoughts at that time ... unthinkable even. He was accused of heresy by the Roman Inquisition. At the trial the Inquisition found him guilty and he was burned alive at the stake in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori in 1600. After his dead he was regarded as a martyr for science and free thought.
This album has been released as a double vinyl album that includes a CD version on the Immaginifica label. The vinyl album is packed in a beautiful cover and on the LP sleeves you can find the story and lyrics in several languages. Several famous musicians are contributing to this album. What about names like ... David Jackson, Richard Sinclair, Sonja Kristina and the late Maartin Allcock.
Derek Wilson - drums; Francesco De Renzi - grand piano, Hammond organ; Jerry Cutillo - keyboards, acoustic guitar, flute, bass, 6&12 string guitar, ebow guitar, tubular bells, time generator, lead vocal, Hammond organ, mandolin, tin whistle, percussion, orchestra arrangements; David Jackson - sax; Giacomo Pettinelli - drums; Pat Rowbottom, Alexa Trinity, Sue Llewelyn, Danielle Nuzzo - additional vocals; Anna Maria Manzi - vocals; Charles Yossarian - drums; Fab Santoro - bass; Sonja Kristina & Valentina Ciaffaglione - vocals; Mirko Valtulini - timpani; Maartin Allcock - bass; Gertrude Urner - vocals; Alexa Trinity - vocals
You will find 14 tracks on this album. All compositions are from Jerry Cutillo except “Danse Macabre” which is off course a famous composition of the French classical composer Saint Saens. The first (“Campo De’ Fiori”) and last (“Campo De’ Fiori Reprise”) track are essential for the story. The place were it all ended for Giordano Bruno. In those last moments he would have had some flashbacks of his life. Musically speaking the music is drenched with beautiful keyboard and flute melodies influenced by the Prog of the seventies. Off course the flute melodies of Jerry will remind you of the master himself ... Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull. You can find the spirit of the minstrel in several tracks. In “Liber In Tiberi” the Hammond organ is combined with the sax of maestro David Jackson (VDGG). No one can play the sax like David does. The short track “Angeli Senza Ali” could be a Jethro Tull song from the “Minstrel In The Gallery” album. That Jethro Tull atmosphere can also be found in the next track “Circe”. A beautiful track with lovely acoustic guitar and flute melodies. The more modern Tull atmosphere reminds me somewhat of the “Roots To Branches” album. The music is enriched with tasteful soundscapes to set the time frame of the story. You can find a lot of male and female singers on this album. It gives the music an extra level of diversity. In Diana/Morgana the voices of Sonja Kristina and Valentina Ciaffaglione are combined. It gives a nice contrast, the low voice of Sonja and the beautiful high pitched vocal melodies sung by Valentina. David is also present with his sax and Francesco De Renzi plays a beautiful grand piano part. Another great vocalist is present in the track “Dreams Of Mandragora”. Richard Sinclair plays his bass here and enrich the song with his specific voice. A slow song with delicate sung vocals and beautiful flute and grand piano parts. The keyboard orchestrations are pure bliss .. a lovely track. This is followed by the classical flute piece “Danse Macabre”. A composition of the French classical composer Saint Saens. Jerry’s flute playing is an ode to Ian Anderson the flute player of Jethro Tull. “The Globe” is a good example of that atmosphere of minstrels playing at a court. But in “Wittenberger Fuchstanz” the instrumentation is more Prog oriented with melodic synth melodies and beautiful keyboard strings. The female vocal part is sung by Jenny Sorrenti. Another highlight of the album is the mainly instrumental track “Un Valter Per Il Mocenigo”. Great keyboard playing and flute melodies in this track. The longest track of the album is called “Sandali Rossi”. Musically speaking it sounds sometimes like David Jackson is meeting Jethro Tull. As RPI fan I just love that this track is sung in the Italian language. It is one of those beautiful sounding languages that generates a wonderful atmosphere. By the way, the vocal parts of this album are sung in several languages ... besides Italian and English, I also heard some German and Latin. As mentioned before the album ends on “Campo De’ Fiori”. A square with a contrasting name when you consider what happened here. Nowadays you can find a statue there, a monument in memory of Giordano Bruno on the spot where he was executed.
Jerry Cutillo and his OAK made with “Giordano Bruno” a beautiful and intriguing concept album. An album for RPI (Rock Progressivo Italiano) lovers. Because of the several references to the music of Jethro Tull it could be also an interesting album for Tull lovers. An album made with the passion for music and art in general. I have not often seen such detailed packaging (story and lyrics in several languages) for a progressive rock release. Well done Jerry. This wonderful release is highly recommended by progVisions.
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