ARTI & MESTIERI
Gigi Venegoni (guitar, synth)
Beppe Crovella (keyboards)
Giovanni Vigliar (violin, vocals, percussion)
Arturo Vitale (sax, clarinet, vibes)
Marco Gallesi (bass)
Furio Chirico (drums, percussion)
Gianfranco Gaza (vocals) added
One of the bands from the Cramps label, Arti &
Mestieri from Turin were formed around 1974 by ex-Trip drummer Furio Chirico
(he had previously played with I Ragazzi del Sole and Martò e i Judas) with
from various musical experiences. Venegoni, Vigliar and Vitale had
previously played with Il Sogno di Archimede, a jazzy-prog group.
Often playing with Area, they shared with them the same interest in fusing jazz-rock with prog elements, and their first album, Tilt, is a very good result, even if the limited vocal parts were their weakest point. The album includes only two vocal tracks, and the rest is mainly instrumental.
The group had a good live activity, supporting the
likes of PFM and even Gentle Giant, as demonstrated by
the good and now deleted Live CD released in 1990 (another live CD with
a different 1974 recording has been released in 2002, see below for details).
On the second album, 1975's Giro di valzer per domani, a singer was added, Gianfranco Gaza from Procession, and the album has a much better sound and production than the previous one, in a similar style as the previous one but with stronger jazz rock influences. Two of the album's best cuts, the instrumental Valzer per domani and the vocal Saper sentire were also released as a single.
In 1979 another Arti & Mestieri album was released,
Quinto stato, with an open line-up featuring only Chirico and Gallesi from the original group, with Marco Cimino (keyboards - from Errata Corrige and Esagono), Claudio Montafia (guitar and flute) and other collaborators, more in a mainstream jazz-rock vein, while subsequent releases strongly veered
Fourth album, Acquario, is not a live album as declared on the front cover, just a live-in-studio recording. Like its follower, Children's blues, it was released on a small label with local distribution only.
Guitarist Venegoni also released two solo albums on Cramps as
Venegoni & Co., always in the same jazz-rock style as later Arti & Mestieri.
Drummer Furio Chirico has continued playing and teaching his instrument, also releasing solo albums and some drum playing tutorials. He's the first Italian drummer ever playing at the Modern Drummer Festival in USA (2002 edition).
Keyboardist Crovella has played and taken production role on new prog bands' albums such as Romantic Warriors, Tower, Mosaic.
In 2001 a revived Arti & Mestieri, led by original members
Venegoni, Crovella, Gallesi and Chirico aided by Marco Cimino (from Errata
Corrige, he had already joined the band on Quinto Stato and was with Gallesi also in Esagono) and violinist
Corrado Trabuio released a new CD Murales on the
Electromantic label. Mostly instrumental and somehow influenced by jazz and world music,
the CD also included reworkings of a couple of tracks from the early albums, Gravità
9,81 and Nove lune prima.
In the same year another CD release called Articollezione was issued, a compilation of unreleased tracks from their first period, more in a progressive style than later works.
The double Live 1974/2000 CD, released in 2002 included, as suggested by the title, a whole 1974 concert (all the tracks from the previous Vinyl Magic Live CD are included here along with others from a different concert) with a second CD containing 1999 and 2000 live recordings.
In the summer 2003 the group, now stably active, appeared at ProgDay 2003,
in North Carolina, at the end of August.
Founder members Furio Chirico and Beppe
Crovella were now helped by Corrado Trabuio (violin, vocals), Slep (guitar,
vocals) and Roberto Cassetta (bass, vocals), with a powerful live show
entirely based on their 1974-75 albums.
The 2004 album Progday
special, with the new line-up, was a 4-track CD collecting old tracks recorded live in studio to
promote the band in their new journey abroad. The Electromantic label also released in 2004 the first solo album by the
original bass player Marco Gallesi, entitled Riff.
In 2005 another new studio work, called Estrazioni, strongly connected with the earlier productions starting with its cover design. The record included some tracks written for a never released third album in 1977 along with more recent compositions, and is on a varied level. The line-up now included Marco Roagna (guitar) replacing Slep, and Alfredo Ponissi (sax), along with a guest appearance by the original guitarist Gigi Venegoni. The band was augmented in concert by guests Warren Dale on sax and flute and singer Iano Nicolò, frontman of the group Cantina Sociale, from Piedmont.
In the same year the band played in Japan, at Tokyo's Club Città, and a live CD taken from those concerts, entitled First live in Japan, was released at the end of 2006.
A box set meant to celebrate the first album Tilt and the entire group's career, entitled 33 was released in early 2008, a nice package including an LP, a CD, 2 DVD's and various inserts.
In 2009 Arti e Mestieri started working on a concept album entitled Piramidi - Quadri di un'esplorazione, inspired from the life of the explorer Giovanni Belzoni. An EP, Il grande Belzoni, was released, taken from this project, but the album was never issued.
The new studio album by Arti & Mestieri was finally released in 2015, after many international tours, a very nice record entitled Universi paralleli, with a guest appearance on two tracks by Mel Collins but no sign of founder member Beppe Crovella.
|Tilt||Cramps (CRSLP 5501)||1974||single cover with lyric inner - distributed by Ricordi - some copies with insert and poster|
|Cramps (CRSLP 5501)||1975||single cover with lyric inner - distributed by Baby Records - different label layout|
|Cramps (5205 501)||1978||as above|
|Akarma (AK 1024)||2001||single cover with lyric inner|
|Sony Music/BMG (88985 36563 1)||2017||new remastered reissue|
|Cramps/De Agostini (CRSLP 5501)||2018||single cover with inner and 8-page insert - no.17 in the De Agostini "Prog Rock Italiano" series|
|Giro di valzer per domani||Cramps (CRSLP 5502)||1975||gatefold cover with lyric inner|
|Cramps (5205 502)||1978||as above|
|Akarma (AK 1025)||2001||gatefold cover with lyric inner - reissue contains 2 bonus tracks|
|Quinto stato||Cramps (5205 505)||1979||gatefold cover with lyric inner|
|Acquario||Studio (SMS 1002)||1983||single cover|
|Children's blues||Edizioni Augusta (MS 1009)||1985||single cover|
|Murales||Electromantic (ARTLP 2001)||2001||single cover - also on CD (ART 401) with 4 extra tracks|
|33||Electromantic (AEM 33)||2008||limited issue box set including LP, CD, 2 DVD's, booklet and inserts|
|Universi paralleli||Sony/Cramps (88875 12693 1)||2015||single cover with lyric inner|
|Tilt||Vinyl Magic (VM 004)||1989||reissue of 1974 album - now deleted|
|Cramps (CRSCD 016)||1994||as above - now deleted|
|Edel (CRA 0136542)||2000||as above - digipack cover|
|Akarma (AK 1024)||2001||as above - mini gatefold cover|
|Giro di valzer per domani||Vinyl Magic (VM 005)||1989||reissue of 1975 album - now deleted|
|Cramps (CRSCD 017)||1994||as above - now deleted|
|Edel (CRA 0136552)||2000||as above - digipack cover|
|Akarma (AK 1025)||2001||as above - mini quadruple foldout cover|
|Live||Vinyl Magic (VM 018)||1990||now deleted|
|Quinto stato||Cramps (CRSCD 014)||1995||reissue of 1979 album -now deleted|
|Cramps (300 045-2)||1995||as above - now deleted|
|EMI (857433-2)||90's||as above -now deleted|
|Edel (CRA 0138672)||2000||as above - digipack cover|
|Murales||Electromantic (ART 401)||2001||mini-gatefold cover - 4 bonus tracks|
|Articollezione||Electromantic (ART 403)||2001||compilation of 1972-75 unreleased recordings - mini-gatefold cover|
|Live 1974/2000||Electromantic (ART 4078)||2002||2CD - live recordings from 1974 and 1999/2000|
|Progday special||Electromantic (ART 4101)||2003||4-track mini album recorded live in studio|
|Acquario||Electromantic (TJRS 1961)||2004||reissue of 1983 album|
|Children's blues||Electromantic (TJRS 1962)||2004||reissue of 1985 album|
|Estrazioni||Electromantic (AEM 95251)||2005||new studio album|
|First live in Japan||Electromantic (AEM 95253)||2006||live album recorded in Tokyo in 2005|
|The live||Ma.Ra.Cash (MRC 033)||2013||CD recorded in Japan in 2011 + bonus DVD live in Verona - digipack cover|
|Universi paralleli||Sony/Cramps (88875 12694 2)||2015||contains 5 additional tracks not on the LP version|
VARIOUS ARTISTS COMPILATION ALBUMS
|La musica dissennata
degli anni '70
(with Gravità 9.81, Valzer per domani, Saper sentire)
|Cramps (5208 004)||1980||released in the "Successo" series by Polygram - also includes tracks by Bella Band, Canzoniere del Lazio, Venegoni & Co.|
|Dedicato a Marilyn
|Fonit (9031-72346-1-1)||1990||box set - available on LP and CD
LP version includes 2LP's, a picture disc and a 40-page book
also features tracks by Pete Seeger, Marty Balin, Perfume, Jane Birkin, Fred Buscaglione, Riccardo Cocciante, Roberta D'Angelo, Louis Hayes, Ian Campbell Folk Group, Francesco Baccini, Assemblea Musicale Teatrale and others
SINGLES (with picture cover)
|Valzer per domani
|Cramps (CRSNP 1901)||1975||two tracks from Giro di valzer per domani|
|Edizioni Augusta (MS 2011)||1984||both unreleased tracks|
|Il grande Belzoni||Electromantic (AEM 3391)||2009||CD-EP with four unreleased tracks|
La nuova stella
|Electromantic (ECM SNG 962)||2012||CD single with two unreleased tracks|
The Arti & Mestieri albums are still easy to find, the first two were also reissued on Akarma.
The first two LP's originally came out with CRSLP catalogue numbers and were later repressed around 1978 with new Cramps numbering. The first issue of Tilt has the "Distribuzione Dischi Ricordi Spa" credit on the back cover, the label credits Chirico/Venegoni/Crovella as composers for all the tracks and has the Tilt logo centered with the song titles. In 1975 the album was reissued with the same catalogue number with Baby Records distribution credit on the back cover; the label has the name of the actual composers under each song title and Tilt is written on the left side.
Like most LP releases on that label, all the Cramps albums contain a black & white inner with typed lyrics and pictures.
The very first issue of Tilt contained a funnel-shaped cardboard insert, and some copies also included a poster with the same design as the cover. Both these inserts are very rare.
On Giro di valzer per domani a track, Rinuncia, is sung by Eugenio Finardi, though his name doesn't appear on the cover. It had been recorded during the Tilt sessions but wasn't included on that LP.
2001's album Murales has been released both on
vinyl and CD, the latter including four extra tracks, among which a reworking of
Arti's classic Gravità 9.81, originally on Tilt.
New CD reissues include the two jazzy works Acquario and Children's Blues, both never before on CD and now in the TJRS (Turin Jazz Rock School) series on the Electromantic label.
A Japanese vinyl issue exists of Tilt (Warner-Pioneer
P-10303C) and Acquario (Nexus/King K22P 412).
Giro di valzer per domani was issued in France with the title Tour de valse pour demain (Cramps 940 518).
Quinto stato was issued in Portugal on Cramps/EMI Valentim De Carvalho label (no.P-5205-505).
The 2015 album Universi paralleli was first released in Japan (on CD, Nexus/King KICP-1733 with mini-LP gatefold cover) and later in Italy on CD and LP on Cramps/Sony Music label. The Japanese issue contains an exclusive final track, La porta nel cielo, that was replaced with Nato on the Italian CD version. The vinyl version issued in Italy omits 5 tracks that are on the CD.
Nexus/King also issued in Japan in 2017 the 2CD+DVD set Live in Japan (KIZC434~6) with the recording of a 2015 concert at the Club Città in Kawasaki. The same concert had already appeared on the double CD The Best of Italian Rock Vol.2 issued on Vivid Sound (VSPR4131/2) in 2016.
No counterfeits exist on vinyl, but there are some CD reissued of the first two albums released in Russia which are probably unofficial.
Tilt - LP
Tilt - two different labels
|Tilt - funnel-shaped insert and promotional poster|
|Giro di valzer per domani - front and back cover|
Tour de valse pour demain (Giro di valzer per domani) - LP French issue
Quinto stato - LP
Acquario - LP
Children's blues - LP
Universi paralleli - LP
|Valzer per domani - 7" single||Managua - 7" single|
|Live - CD||Murales - CD|
|Articollezione - CD||Live 1974/2000 - CD|
|Progday special - CD||Estrazioni - CD|
|The live - CD+DVD|
Click on pictures to enlarge
|Arti & Mestieri 2003
in the studio
L to R: Chirico - Cassetta
Trabuio - Crovella - Slep
|2003 promotional pictures|
|Live 12-Aug-2003 in Atri (TE)|
|Live 31-Aug-2003 at ProgDay USA|
|Live 29-Sep-2005 at 70's Flowers Festival, Fano (PU)|
|Live 4-Jul-2010 Rockin' Umbria, Mongiovino (PG)|
|Arti & Mestieri with Gigi Venegoni & Mel Collins
Prog Exhibition 2011 - Roma 21-Oct-2011
A new Arti & Mestieri website is going to be launched at www.artiemestieri.org
Drummer Furio Chirico has his own website at www.furiochirico.com
Info and MP samples from latest Arti & Mestieri releases can be found on Electromantic Music's website at www.electromantic.com
Many thanks to Furio Chirico for
friendship, information and the studio picture and to Danilo Sala and Arti & Mestieri for the promotional and
Also thanks to Marco D'Alia, Giuliano Semprucci, Nicola Benelli, Ubaldo (Franco) Cibei, Pierre Tassone, Lorenzo Pittan for some pictures and information included in this page.