Ulysses journey lending itself to other sort of progression – an art-poetry in motion.
Having broken in 1993 after two albums and back after 19 years in limbo, by now this Italian band added another brace of records to their catalogue. Rising over the waves, “Odysséas” may signal the ensemble’s creative peak, as the musical interpretation of Homer’s poem is an ambitious anabasis which, embarked on by lesser mortals, wouldn’t result in such a graceful record. It grips the listener from the keyboards and vibes interplay of “Invocazione Alla Musa” and lets go only when “Daimones” resolves the tension in sweet beauty.
With all the dolce elements of Apennines’ prog that Riccardo Ruggeri’s voice renders tremulous in the quasi-operatic likes of “Il Tempo Che Non Ho” where an acoustic guitar and cello reign supreme, before the orchestra and piano strike, or the chamber “Penelope” that’s adorned with John Hackett‘s flute, there’s enough cosmic energy running through the pieces to carry the momentum even in the slowest moments. No wonder, if recurring themes hold it all together, but where “Ade” flows in so delicately for Nik Comoglio’s ivories to inject jazz uncertainty into it, “Focus” hides a wild rocking beneath its dramatic veneer, helped by Marco Minnemann’s heavy drumming.
Melodic tapestry sags a bit towards the middle of the adventure, yet that’s when the drift becomes the most improvisatory, and Francesco Pinetti’s vibes add emotional rift to “Eros & Thanatos” until the waltz of “Vento Avverso” heals it. And that’s what the great music should do.