Dino Pacifici
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Become A Man (NAB, 1979) *
Random Factor (Dance Plant, 1994) *
Urban Oasis (Dance Plant, 1996) **
The Journey (Dance Plant, 1997) ***
Acquiescent Resonance (Dance Plant, 1998) **
Hallowed Ground (Dance Plant, 1999) *

Canada-born multi-instrumentalist Dino Pacifici has composed albums that mix lounge jazz, cosmic music and folk melodies. Random Factor (Dance Plant, 1994) and Urban Oasis (Dance Plant, 1996) lean towards the jazz side of the equation, whereas The Journey (Dance Plant, 1997) is a humble and emotional form of tonal electronic music.

Half of Random Factor (Dance Plant, 1994) is consumed by electronic lounge music: Midnight Sun has a romantic guitar melody against a backdrop of atmospheric electronics and slightly syncopated beats; Northern Lights is a nocturnal shuffle with a sax-driven theme; etc. The pace accelerates only for exuberant exotic scherzos of Southbound and Odyssey and for the synth-pop of Anajym. The eight-minute Nocturnal Dance is a more adventurous excursion into mood music (unfortunately, spoiled again by a stereotyped guitar solo). Even better is the haunting fantasia Alexander's Adventures. And even better is the alien impressionism a` la Brian Eno of The Ice Fields Of Neptune.

Urban Oasis (Dance Plant, 1996) indulges in even more languid soft-jazz themes (Santa Ana Winds, Cool Blue, Urban Oasis, Long Summer Nights), sometimes bordering on old-fashioned easy-listening muzak (Floating On The Airwaves) but with much stronger melodies. Slow Boil and On The Strip add a little verve.

The Journey (Dance Plant, 1997) is structured in longer tracks that abstract the traditions of exotica, easy-listening and lounge-music. Pacifici's fusion borders several styles without embracing any of them. It is warm (The Journey), ethereal (the 11-minute Earth Song Trilogy), astral (Cascades), blurred (Reverie), surreal (Voices In The Mist). The 11-minute closer, Rainforest Rhapsody, further expands his horizons by introducing ethnic percussion and natural sounds: melodies are only sketched, and become part of a bigger tapestry of harmony. This, his most electronic work, displayed Pacifici's skills at arranging and scripting music, rather than his melodic talent. His tone can never be tragic. An element of magic and ecstasy permeates all of his sonic excursions. He found his true voice as an electronic impressionist, a cosmic courier for the global village.

Rather than representing a further step in Pacifici's evolution, Acquiescent Resonance (Dance Plant, 1998) marks a regression to the lounge-music of his early days. Electronic dance beats pretend to modernize Dreams In Green and Acquiescent Resonance, but this is old-fashioned easy-listening. More vigorous incursions into fusion-jazz (It's Gotta Have Soul) and funk-rock (Shadow Lands) go nowhere. The Awakening boasts a solemn melody and haunting arrangements, and Perc-U-Later boasts a puzzling polyrhythmic base, but little else stands out. The hip-hoppish See Beyond could be an instrumental base discarded by Madonna. The tracks are lengthy and lush, but their content is minimal.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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