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Alvaro Jumbo Fella & Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio E Mistero album review

Tales of mystery from an Italian prog team-up

Italian prog legends unite! Coraggio E Mistero sees eccentric vocalist/performer Alvaro ‘Jumbo’ Fella teaming up with 1970s collective Consorzio Acqua Potabile, and the results are brain-melting. The problem, at least for us uneducated Brits, is that all the lyrics are in Italian. Moreover, Alvaro’s singing style is extremely overwrought. This does somewhat detract from the music, which at its best is a compelling amalgam of Jethro Tull and Focus.

The vagaries of Google Translate reveal the album to be based on the theme of mystery. There’s certainly plenty to get your denti into, most notably 20-minute centrepiece La Notte E Il Mulino Di Al (The Night And The Mill Of Al, possibly). This sprawling prog-operatic work appears to be a diatribe against the evil of cats – certainly Alvaro gets very worked up as he growls: ‘Gatti son tanti gatti ha occhi verdi profondi’ (‘Cats… so many cats with deep green eyes’). And that’s not to mention the unhinged miaows that assault your eardrums at the end. A challenging listen, then, but strangely rewarding, despite its vibe of pepperoni‑blistering madness.