Rock Progressivo Italiano
There was always a difference between the Italian take on Progressive Rock and the other countries from which it came. Whereas in the UK and US, bands released records when invited to do so by companies of varying sizes... the Italians tended to work in a manner more akin to the DIY nature of Punk/New Wave which came later elsewhere.
Italian Progressive Rock was totally unfettered. There were hardly any apparent commercial considerations. Bands had whole careers or just came together, made one album and disappeared. They came at it from all angles, as Jazz Fusion driven, Classically motivated, Hard Rockin', Folksy, Avant Garde, Quirky... you name it. There were LOADS of them. Some had almost visible influences of their famous UK/US counterparts.. elements of Genesis, Yes, ELP stalked lovingly throughout the works of some, others cut their own furrows.
A few expanded their reach into the UK and USA... PFM of course being the best known outside of Italy followed closely by Banco and Le Orme. But once one becomes aware of just how much that leaves out of the picture, it's a massive rabbit hole to go down.
TRT's songs on "Allium: Una Storia" are massively influenced by this movement. Tillison has been a fan since he was 15:
"It was PFM for me at first of course - I'd heard them on the BBC "In Concert" programme in 1975. A friend of mine had the albums "Cook" and "Photos Of Ghosts" and I made copies on my cassette recorder of both. I bought my first album by the band in Italy on the holiday where I met the band "Allium". For a few seconds I was disappointed that it appeared to be "Photos of Ghosts", until I realised that unlike "Photos" this was going to be all in Italian! I was hooked, forever, on that day."
Like many Brits at the time, Andy wasn't aware of the huge amount of other stuff that was out there. The English version of Le Orme's Felona & Serona with its Peter Hammill penned lyrics played well in the UK along with Banco. For many UK fans, the world of RPI remained unknown until the arrival of the Internet so many people out in the rest of Europe didn't get to see the depth of the movement until 20 years after it happened.
When TRT lyricist Antonio De Sarno first met up with Andy in around 2000 his first recommendation was for this remarkable album by Il Balletto Di Bronzo "Ys" The influences can even be seen in the artwork colour scheme that TRT chose, though the original Allium band were already considering something very similar.
For many people the discovery of so much music from this amazing free and forward thinking era was the beginning of a new interest in Progressive Music. Just how much had been missed out of what happened in the 1970s.
TRT's "Allium" album is recording that is inspired by the long format recordings of Museo Rosenbach, the jazz/prog fusion of Area and Arti e Mestieri, the dark evocative Balletto Di Bronzo, the operatic stylings of Metamorfosi, the counterpoint runs of Banco, the multi-instrumentalism and melody of PFM and .. the common independence that all of these many bands were able to exercise.