Michele Conta – Endless Nights

Posted: 200222

Review Erik Neuteboom

 

Michele Conta was the keyboard player and composer on the legendary album Fose Le Lucciole Non Si Amanio Più (1977) by Locanda Delle Fate. Endless Nights (2019) is his first album of original compositions since the end of Locanda Delle Fate and was done in collaboration with Italian musicians and Gavin Harrison on drums (Porcupine tree). The album has been recorded in The Abbey Road studios.

 

On his first solo album Michele presents a fine and melodic blend of rock, symphonic and Neo-Prog with tasteful arrangements and flowing shifting moods. Most of the tracks alternate between mellow and bombastic, often from tender piano runs to sumptuous synthesizer flights, blended with sensitive or heavy electric guitar play. The contrast between the classical piano and the heavy guitar work creates a lot of tension. It is a pity that some tracks feature English vocals, because these are mediocre while the Italian vocals are wonderful.

 

My highlights.

 

È Nell'aria (6:17) : First sparkling piano intro, then a mid-tempo with fat synthesizer flights (Minimoog-like) and rock guitar riffs. The one moment it sounds like symphonic rock, the other moment like Neo-Prog. A dynamic and alternating composition, from dreamy to sumptuous and from tender piano to harder-edged guitar.

 

Notte Iinfinita (5:23) : It starts mellow with piano and soaring strings, gradually the music becomes more lush and dynamic, in a tight mid-tempo beat with synthesizer flights, close to Neo-Prog. Finally a moving guitar solo.

 

In Riva Al Mondo (6:07) : This is a beautiful ballad, embellished with tender piano, romantic Italian vocals, acoustic guitar and finally a sensitive and howling electric guitar solo, wow.

 

Fiori Nnascosti (8:16) : First a melancholical atmosphere featuring piano, cello and a celestial choir sound, topped with moving electric guitar. Halfway the mood shifts to up-tempo, blended with a Minimoog-like sound, and rock guitar riffs again cloes to Neo-Prog. Finally wonderful piano runs, unfortunately medicocre English vocals ends this fine track.

 

La Leggenda Del Bosco Blue (5.17) The final song is a ‘Japanese bonus track’, it contains tender piano, cello and emotional Italian vocals, simply wonderful.