From The NEARFest Staff
NEARfest is honored to present to you, the legendary New Trolls as our Saturday Night headliner. New Trolls were founded in the mid-1960s by musicians Vittorio De Scalzi, Nico Di Palo, Mauro Chiarugi, Giorgio D'Adamo and Gianni Belleno. New Trolls gained local club popularity which led them to be chosen as supporting act for the Rolling Stones on their Italian tour dates. Soon after, they released their debut single, "Sensazioni" (1967), the first of a very long series of chart hitting songs. The band was one of the best live acts in Italy at the time, and Hendrix-inspired guitarist Nico Di Palo was one of the first Italian guitar heroes.
Their first full-length album, Senza Orario Senza Bandiera, came in 1968 with lyrics written for it by famed singer-songwriter Fabrizio de André. This release was very successful at the time and a second album simply titled New Trolls, followed two years later. By the end of the same year New Trolls would have faced their first line-up change, when Mauro Chiarugi left the band. The other members managed to go on as a quartet and in 1971 they released the album which was to become their trademark: Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls. The album was a fantastic example of early symphonic rock experimentation, with classical music arrangements written by composer Luis Enriquez Bacalov. As the first effort in Italy to merge rock music with classical treatments, this album is still considered one of the most important Italian progressive rock releases ever.
From then on, the name New Trolls has appeared sporadically in the music scene. Along the 1990s Vittorio De Scalzi recruited several musicians to make tours playing old New Trolls songs. Some album remakes and best-hits collections have appeared too. In 1999 Di Palo, Belloni and Belleno tried to regroup the band (again) but came into legal conflict with De Scalzi. In 2001 a two-disc set was released credited to De Scalzi: La storia dei New Trolls. Recorded live, the first disc includes reworkings of old tracks, while the second is a complete rendition of Concerto grosso per i New Trolls with full orchestra.
By 2002 the band lead by De Scalzi kept touring with La storia dei New Trolls repertoire. Di Palo and former band members regrouped as Il Mito New Trolls, only touring and performing old songs, not releasing any record yet.
2007 saw what is currently the latest reunion of De Scalzi and Di Palo. Reuniting elements from both members' bands, the reformed New Trolls released Concerto grosso: the seven seasons, a continuation of their classical/rock blending "Concerto grosso" series. For this issue, the band returned to English lyrics, written by Shel Shapiro. The record was produced and released by the band's own label, Aereostella. In continuing with the renaissance of the New Trolls in the 21st century, at the beginning of 2010 came the announcement of the reunion, after almost 30 years, of the classic line-up with Vittorio De Scalzi, Nico Di Palo, Giorgio D'Adamo and Gianni Belleno, with live help of Andrea Maddalone and Francesco Bellia.
Various lineup changes became a constant scenario and although their members have ridden the musical roundabout, the quality of their music has never waivered. As with many bands from the golden era of progressive music, New Trolls music changed with the times but their vision never deviated from what it was from the beginning; creation of a truly progressive spirit. Moving from symphonic prog to jazz/fusion to hard rock and back again, New Trolls continue to impress with their live appearances. Considered to rival PFM as the most popular progressive band from Italy, their shows are nothing short of magical. The repertoire for their NEARfest appearance will be billed as the BEST OF THE PROG OF NEW TROLLS, tunes from
3 albums of Concerto Grosso (1971, 1976, 2008) which represents baroque-sympho-rock, classic tunes from 1969-1976 period as well as selections from their psychedelic-period.
Jim, Kevin and I are truly honored to be able to present to the NEARfest masses for the first time in the U.S., Italy's New Trolls.
New Trolls are:
VITTORIO DE SCALZI - lead vocals, flute, keyboards, acoustic guitar
NICO DE PALO - lead and back vocals, keyboards
ANDREA MADDALONE - electric & acoustic guitars, back vocals
FRANCESCO BELLIA - bass guitar, acoustic guitar, back vocals
GIANNI BELLENO - drums, back vocals