Roz Vitalis: Lavoro D’Amore

From Russia with love…

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Keyboard maestro Ivan Rozmainsky has been single-mindedly flying his purist prog flag in the Russian city of St Petersburg, starting Roz Vitalis as a one man project then going through various collaborative incarnations until arriving at a full-blown band on 2011’s Revelator.

Lavoro D’Amore (‘Labour Of Love’) takes 11 instrumental pieces through the prog cosmos, embracing chamber, avant, psych and the symphonic strain he has made his own. There Are The Iniquities Of Workers Fallen starts with Ivan’s twinkling harpsichord and Alexey Gorshkov’s Miles-style electronically enhanced trumpet before a complex gothic riff rears, straight out of vintage Van der Graaf. While Ivan’s Hammond and Steinway steer, embellishments from guitarists Vladimir Semenov-Tyan-Shansky and Vladimir Efimov add presence. Vladimir Korotkikh’s flute work may draw Tull comparisons, but 70s Crimson is closer to the mark, notably on the pastoral Every Branch That Beareth Fruit. Rozmainsky’s Russian references set this apart from western prog templates, resulting in the self-described “unclassifiable branch of prog” bearing fruit on this evocative album.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!