AREA — Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi) (review)

AREA — Arbeit Macht Frei (Il Lavoro Rende Liberi) album cover Album · 1973 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
This album and this group blow me away. They managed to create a unique and avant-garde sound at the very peak of experimental progressive music while most Italian prog bands were going the PFM route. A lot of this clearly has to do with the virtuosic crazed yodeling vocal acrobatics of Demtrio Stratos, but the entire band deserves equal recognition for one of the most original, spastic and bizaare debut albums i've heard even to this day. Everyone's just plain nuts! But in a good way.

The album starts off with a prayer in Arabic and then the first track "Luglio, Agosto, Settembre (nero)” (based on a Macedonian folk song) begins. It's apparent from the get-go that this is some unique stuff. After the rather structured first track, we then get the more avant-prog-jazz-fusion side of AREA. Although it sounds like other jazz-fusion bands seem to have been the main inspiration, AREA clearly found their own sound early on by upping everything a few notches. They were more aggressive, had more odd time signatures, more solos, were more experimental and had the unmatched vocals which certainly meant they had a sound no one else could touch. The production on this album is also amazing for its time.

A true innovator of avant-prog with politically charged socialist leaning lyrics (in Italian), this is clearly a work of equal parts dedicated passion and crazed frenetic hyperactivity. Since i've discovered this band they have become one of my all time favorites. This debut album is a bonfide masterpiece to my ears.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Haunted Carbonek Jazz Related Improv/Composition
MARTIN PYNE
Buy this album from MMA partners
Rock Post Bop
GIOVANNI CIGUI
Buy this album from MMA partners
Matthieu Bordenave, Patrice Moret / Florian Weber : La Traversée Post-Fusion Contemporary
MATTHIEU BORDENAVE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Great 3 Kikuchi=Peacock=Togashi - Begin the Beguine (Full Album)
GREAT 3 (MASABUMI KIKUCHI - GARY PEACOCK - MASAHIKO TOGASHI)
snobb· 9 hours ago
The Way You Say I Think You Think
GIOVANNI CIGUI
js· 17 hours ago
Dans mon pays
MATTHIEU BORDENAVE
js· 17 hours ago
Fathead, That's All
HERMAN GREEN
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us