One of the challenges with largely instrumental music played at something like a virtuoso level is to avoid seeming to be hermetically sealed from the emotional spark that’s required to pass between player and listener.
You might well play the fastest paradiddle in the West but if that isn’t framed within a decent tune then it’s largely worthless. Formed in 2001, Bologna’s Accordo die Contrari have a proven track record of managing to carry off both sides of this testy equation. Their 2014 album, AdC, marshalled hardhitting guitar/keyboard riffs allied to swift flurries of snappy time changes with a lack of whimsy that placed them at the more muscular end of the Canterbury orientated prog spectrum. Their latest release demonstrates that their ability in this respect remains happily undiminished. Joined by a new recruit, Stefano Radaelli (alto and baritone sax), the long-established partnership of Giovanni Parmeggiani (keys), Marco Marzo (guitar) and Cristian Franchi (drums) deliver an expressive series of elegantly fashioned pieces with plenty of room for players to breathe and grow. Guesting vocals and violin add depth and timbral range, sitting well within what’s already a mature and impressive work