Visitation

Visitation

by Chirco
     
 

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For every undiscovered rock or pop gem that springs from the late '60s and early '70s, there are dozens of albums whose hype far exceeds their musical quality. Occasionally, an album will arise from this era with its musical virtue still wholly intact, but, tragically, it is impaired by a single element that could have been easily avoided had the same consideration

Overview

For every undiscovered rock or pop gem that springs from the late '60s and early '70s, there are dozens of albums whose hype far exceeds their musical quality. Occasionally, an album will arise from this era with its musical virtue still wholly intact, but, tragically, it is impaired by a single element that could have been easily avoided had the same consideration been given to it as to the music. The sole 1972 album from Chirco, Visitation, is one such misfortune. Chirco was actually originally a studio project led by percussionist Tony Chirco and producer Michael Cuscuna rather than a proper band, but eventually the New York band Sassafras came aboard, and proved to be the project's saving grace. The musicianship in evidence on Visitation is uniformly ambitious and complex, with bassist Bruce Taylor and drummer S.H. Foote particularly impressive. They construct a swinging rhythmic underpinning that propels the music upward and forward, a match for the subtle spirituality of the lyrics. The album contains some of the hallmarks of progressive rock, especially the highly structured, conceptual songs that wear their pretensions on their sleeves, but although the usual rock instrumentation (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards) is present, Cuscuna also had the vision to variously incorporate horns and percussion, and the ubiquitous presence of electronic vibes helps Chirco create something that transcends progressive rock. The band's playing often approaches the texture and intricacy of jazz, with passages ranging from breezy to boldly powerful to grooving, and the album is equally demanding in that it does not contain proper songs; instead, it consists of two side-long suites with each part rolling directly into the next without lulls or gaps. And although some of the music overreaches or descends into hackneyed hard rock cliche, had Chirco stopped here, the album would have been a find. Unfortunately, the album is both dated and marred by the vocals, which are firmly planted in the '70s pedestrian hard rock mold that emphasized histrionic wailing over expressiveness or genuine edge. With more idiosyncratic vocals, Visitation might well have had the right to claim itself a lost treasure from the progressive-psych era. As it is, the album is hard even to enjoy for its good parts because they have been spoiled by the bad.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/18/1999
Label:
Gear Fab Records
UPC:
0645270013024
catalogNumber:
130
Rank:
122034

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chirco   Primary Artist,Percussion,Drums,Vibes
Billy Chanaca   Guitar
Pete Esposito   Drums
S.H. Foote   Keyboards
John Kaye   Conga
Ted MacKenzie   Drums
John Naylor   Guitar,Vocals
Lee Rickards   Drums
Anvil Roth   Vocals
Lou Sulkazi   Guitar
Bruce Taylor   Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Bill Wich   Percussion,Horn,Bugle

Technical Credits

Chirco   Arranger,Producer,Concept
Tony Bongiovi   Engineer
Michael Cuscuna   Producer
John Foster   Producer
Don Hahn   Engineer
Dan Zellman   Engineer
Rick Anderson   Engineer

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