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coverpic flag Italy - Full Moon 66 - 02/27/02

Work in Progress Live
MoonJune Records

A few months after releasing their second studio album, Italian DFA travelled to the United States to play their first ever concert there at NEARFest (North-Eastern Art Rock Festival) in June 2000. The result is this wonderful disc of progressive delights, provided by guitarist Silvio Minella, bassist Luca Baldassari, drummer/vocalist Alberto De Grandis and keyboardist/vocalist Alberto Bonomi.

The concert surely went over very well with the American audience, most who were probably unfamiliar with the band. The CD captures the vibrant mood of the show, the applause and cheering growing with each song the band plays.

From the opening "Escher", the audience is captured by the magical twists and turns the band effortlessly work into the music. Judging by the title of the song, and its rhythmic complexity, I'm guessing it's named after the Dutch graphic artist M. C. Escher, famous for his spatial illusions - water flowing upwards, impossible stairwells, etc.

The band continues to thrill - lots of big keyboard textures from Ozric Tentacles-land, and a very adventurous rhythm section that is ever pushing the band forward. There is a strong element of improvisation, and the band is very much in control of the dynamics of the music. The strongly jazz-fusion influenced "Trip On Metró" is another great example of this, as is "Pantera". Most of the music is instrumental, but there are vocals on a few of the songs. But focusing on the instrumental stuff as they do definitely works to their advantage, as vocals are not their strong point.

The audience is very receptive to the cool and crazy sounds of DFA, and the band responds to the enthusiastic reaction with even more emotion and madness in their playing. Work in Progress Live is a wonderful document of a wonderful band doing a wonderful concert. If you are into bands like the Flower Kings or Ozric Tentacles, you can do no wrong by getting this CD.

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