Appena Un Pò
Per Un Amico
Italian prog rock giants PFM were on a roll in their early phase, unleashing both their classic debut and the equally stunning follow-up, Per un amico, within the same year. The latter even more firmly staked PFM's claim as international prog princes. Like the first album, the band's second record mixes fragile folk touches, jazz fusion firestorms, classical-influenced intricacy, and visceral rock riffs. But if anything, the process is even more finely distilled on these five lengthy tracks. Even amid all the fleet-fingered musicianship on display here, Mauro Pagani's flute and violin are among Per un amico's most distinctive colors, whether he's evoking bucolic splendor on the folk-flavored "Appena un po" or stoking the jazzy, intense flames of "Generale." Flavio Premoli's multi-keyboard mastery is nothing to sneeze at either; he cooks up a crazed carnival frenzy on "Il Banchetto" and lays down almost-impressionistic piano lines on the closing cut, "Geranio." With this level of achievement, it's hard to believe that this band's career was still headed upward.