Roberto Bacchiocchi (keyboards, vocals)
Ovidio Urbani (sax)
Renato Gasparini (guitar, vocals)
Paolo Colafrancesco (bass, vocals)
Mauro Mencaroni (drums, vocals)
Colafrancesco quits, replaced by:
Lucio Cesari (bass, percussion)
Nino Russo (sax, percussion)
One of the few professional bands from the Marche, on the Adriatic side of central Italy, AgorÓ were formed in 1974 near Ancona, and played a jazz-rock very influenced by the likes of Weather Report or the Italian group Perigeo, with a very limited use of progressive sounds. Two of the band members, Bacchiocchi and Colafrancesco, had already made some records first using the name Paolo e Francesco and later as Oz Master Magnus Ltd.
Despite not being so popular they were contacted to
play the famous Montreux international jazz festival in Switzerland that gave
deal with Atlantic.
Their first LP was a live album, recorded during that festival. Mostly instrumental and just 30 minutes long, the LP has its moments, with just four long cuts (one of which is curiously split between the two sides of the LP), that often resemble some English jazzy-prog bands of the early 70's.
The second album, in 1976, is much more jazz-rock
oriented than the first.
The band also played in the 1976 Parco Lambro festival and is featured on the live album released at the time with Cavalcata solare, from their second album and also released on single.
AgorÓ split in 1978. For a short time
that year Pepe Maina played percussion with them, he's
also featured in a concert filmed at Montreux but never officially released.
Almost all of its members kept playing, among them Ovidio Urbani is still regarded as a very talented player in the jazz field.
In 2002 the group was reformed by four original members
Mauro Mencaroni and Lucio Cesari), with newcomers Alessandra Pacheco on vocals,
jazzmen Giovanni Ceccarelli on piano and Aki Montoya on percussion, and the
collaboration of guitarist/producer Maurizio Mercuri.
Since 2012 the line-up, initially called Agorà Unplugged featured Urbani, Gasparini, Cesari, guitarist Gabriele Possenti, cellist Gianni Pieri and drummer Massimo Manzi, who was in the 1977-78 line-up.
A new CD, Ichinen, already announced a few years before, was finally issued in early 2014, including new and old compositions played by the latest line-up along with some unreleased recordings from 1978.
The same line-up released the live album Bombook, with a guest appearance by Patrizio Fariselli from Area, recorded at Progressivamente Free Festival in Rome in September 2015.
|Live in Montreux||Atlantic (T 50171)||1975||single cover with foldout shaped tree - inner|
|BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 086LP)||2012||reissue of 1975 album with identical cover|
|AgorÓ 2||Atlantic (T 50324)||1976||gatefold cover|
|BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 087LP)||2013||reissue of 1976 album with gatefold cover|
|Atlantic/De Agostini (T 50324)||2020||gatefold cover with 8-page insert - no.74 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 087LP)||2021||gatefold cover - red vinyl|
|Bombook||Cramps/Sony (88985 32012 28)||2016||single cover - 2015 live recording|
|Live in Montreux||BTF/Vinyl Magic (VMCD 086)||2003||reissue of 1975 album - mini gatefold cover|
|AgorÓ 2||BTF/Vinyl Magic (VMCD 087)||2003||reissue of 1976 album - mini gatefold cover|
|Ichinen||Immaginifica (ARS IMM/1022)||2013||new studio album|
|Bombook||Cramps/Sony (88985 32012 2)||2016||digipack cover - 5 bonus tracks not on the LP version|
SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
|Cavalcata solare (parte
Cavalcata solare (parte 2)
|Atlantic (T 10941)||1976||both tracks from AgorÓ 2|
PROMOTIONAL AND JUKEBOX SINGLES (with blank cover)
|Cavalcata solare (parte 2)||Atlantic (PROMO 034)||1976||jukebox single - backed with Fred Bongusto/Pietra su pietra|
VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATIONS
(with Cavalcata solare)
|Laboratorio (LB/LP 201)||1976||live recordings from the 1976 Parco Lambro festival - also features Sensations' Fix, Ricky Gianco, Area, Canzoniere del Lazio, Toni Esposito, Paolo Castaldi, Eugenio Finardi.|
|Stampa Alternativa (RP 02)||2005||CD reissue of the above with different mini LP cover - only sold with the book Area/Musica e rivoluzione by Gianpaolo Chiaric˛|
Both AgorÓ albums have never been reissued in Italy. The first official reissue came in 2003 by BTF/Vinyl Magic in their "Italian Progressive Rock" CD series with nice mini-gatefold covers and illustrated booklets. Both have also been reissued on vinyl by the same label in 2012 and 2013 with a faithful reproduction of the original covers.
Live in Montreux has a nice gimmix cover with a tree on
a street, the tree can be raised and has a small stand on the back. The back cover has a beautiful band picture made by a very popular music photographer
and cover designer, Caesar Monti.
A Japanese edition of the first album exists on Atlantic (P-10399A) label, with standard cover, 4-page insert and the usual obi.
AgorÓ 2 is housed in a more simple gatefold cover.
The live Bombook, issue in 2016 for the Cramps label with Sony distribution and recorded the previous year, contains 6 tracks in the LP version and 11 in the CD edition.
No counterfeits exist.
Live in Montreux - front cover and label
Live in Montreux - back cover
Live in Montreux - foldable tree
AgorÓ 2 - front cover
Agorà 2 - front cover
Ichinen - CD
Cavalcata solare - 7" single
The site of the current line-up of Agorà is www.agora-ichinen.com