Few records were able to break through a music scene as “Aria” by Alan Sorrenti. It was 1972, Progressive Rock was at its peak, and basically out of nowhere appeared, as a lightning from a blue sky – on EMI / Harvest record label among other things – Alan Sorrenti, a half-Welsh artist heading from Naples. Parsons Project, from Naples but half Welsh, from the mother. This is a debut album at the same level of Banco’s eponymous LP, P.F.M.‘s “Storia di un minuto” or Area’s “Arbeit Macht Frei”.
The album, it must be said, is not too much accessible for everyone, due in particular to the 20-minute long suite that occupies the entire first side: it sounds like a stream of consciousness transposed into music, with a high dose of improvisation, especially as it regards Sorrenti’s voice. When you start at the highest levels is difficult to keep on the same, and in fact Alan would never be able to reach the same incredible heights of this LP, today considered a masterpiece of Italian prog, and at the time of its release, perhaps with astonishment by the same artist, incensed by critics and consequently by the public. Sorrenti was among the first ones to use the voice as an instrument, even before Demetrio Stratos in the aforementioned Area; he was also one of the few solo artists to excel in a world, that of the progressive rock, almost exclusively reserved to bands. Among the various guests, the most famous is undoubtedly the French Jean-Luc Ponty, whose contribution on violin embellishes this record’s title-track.
This reissue is identical to the original 1972 one in its artwork, and makes available again in LP format an album that, despite its popularity, is very difficult to find even in the most recent reprints. A welcome return, another ‘must-have’ for Italian prog listeners!