This is not the goto Osanna album, for that you want PALEPOLI, but it’s pretty good. -Ian!
On this album, the band matured quite a bit. Where on “L’Uomo”, it was a combination of hard rock, blues, jazz, folk, and prog, on this album, they were able to combine those styles in a more mature and progressive framework. And this time, it’s a soundtrack to a film. But despite the trippy artwork on the album cover that might make you think “Milano Calibro 9” was an art film, it was actually apparently a mob film (for one thing, “Calibro 9” translates as “Caliber 9”, so you know right it way it has to deal with a gun). The band incorporates an orchestra, conducted by Argentine-born Luis Enriquez Bacalov (who was previously responsible for NEW TROLLS’ “Concerto Grosso Per 1” and later IL ROVESCIO DELLA MEDAGLIA’s “Contaminazione”). The American LP has all the song titles in English (so instead of “Preludio”, “Tema”, several “Variazioni”s, and “Canzona”, they are “Prelude”, “Theme”, “Variations” and “There Will Be Time”).
The album starts off with “Theme”, which starts off with a bizarre sounding ARP 2600 synthesizer. There is some classical piano, the orchestra, then the band kicks in to a mindblowing jam. “Tema” (“Theme”) is a more mellow, and pleasant piece, dominated by piano, orchestra, and ARP 2600 synthesizer. Nice piece. Then the album goes through several pieces entitled “Varazioni” (divided by roman numerals I-VII). These movements goes through many different moods and changes, although most of them are quite short. The second movement is also called “My Mind Flies”. This is one of only two cuts with vocals. The band chose to sing in English, but as you know, the English language isn’t the high point of these guys. Luckily it’s stuffed with lots of bizarre, atmospheric and acoustic pieces, with that great flute, and more great loud, aggressive jams. The last piece, “Canzona” is also called “There Will Be Time”. This is not a particularly progressive piece. This is the album’s only other vocal track, and it’s a pretty straightforward pop song, as seemed to be the common occurance on many Italian prog albums.
My big complaint of the album is I wished for lengthier compositions (luckily they fixed that problem with “Palepoli”), because I like the mood of many of the pieces, just wished it lasted longer. But I guess that had to deal with the fact this is a movie soundtrack. Still a great album.
Osanna-MILANO CALIBRO 9 (1972)