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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ping Pong, Italy

Ping Pong - About Time. 1971 Emiliana.

While almost all of the Italian progressive rock albums have been reissued by now, the debut by Ping Pong is still mysteriously missing. Their second album, "Ping Pong" from 1973, was reissued by Mellow many years ago. I fully suspect BTF/AMS will eventually get around to it. I traded for this with an Italian dealer well over 15 years ago (he had found a stash of new, unplayed copies).

One reason why Ping Pong's debut may have been ignored in the reissue market, is that it has very little to do with what we consider Italian Progressive Rock. It's sung in English, and the sound has a light jazzy feel, very much what one could find in the UK at this time (anywhere from Tonton Macoute to Nucleus' more accessible efforts). However, I personally think it's an exceptional example of this type of music. The flute in particular seems to foreshadow a signature sound from Italy - found in groups like Osanna, PFM, Delirium, Capitolo 6, Cervello and many others. And I would argue that these flautists' are not influenced by Ian Anderson / Jethro Tull, but rather American and UK jazz. It's a good little album, with a 1960s cool (though very fragile) cover.

Priority: 2

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