70's Italian Prog Rock bands: Latte e Miele


Latte e Miele was a young three-piece from Genova and one of the Italian prog rock bands with the strongest classical influences. They were formed in 1971 by guitarist Marcello Dellacasa (guitar, bass, vocals), who had collaborated with I Giganti in their Terra in bocca album, along with drummer Alfio Vitanza (drums, flute, vocals) who was only 16 years old and Oliviero Lacagnina (keyboards, vocals). They were a keyboards trio in the same style as ELP or Le Orme in Italy. Their first album was Passio Secundum Mattheum (1972), with Bach-inspired music and lyrics on the Gospel. It's an ambitious work, that has its nice moments. The band members had a good technique, but their keyboard/bass/drums formula was repetitive.


A second album, Papillon (1973), came out the following year in a similar style, but the production was much better. The album contains two side-long tracks with the Beethoven's derived Patetica on most of side two being a nice example of their style. An English version of it was also recorded, but only saw the light in 1992 on CD. The band had a good live activity, and even supported Van der Graaf Generator in one of their Italian tours. A good 1974 live recording was made available by Mellow with their Latte e Miele Live CD (1992). 

Patetica: Parte Prima

After a couple of singles in 1974, the last of which was far from the albums' level, the group disbanded, and was reformed in 1976 by drummer Alfio Vitanza with three new recruits: Mimmo Damiani (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Luciano Poltini (keyboards, vocals) and Massimo Gori (bass, guitar, vocals). The new line-up released an album for Magma, Aquile e Scoiattoli, a very good album, their best and most original work, containing a rendition of Beethoven in Opera 21 and the nice 23-minute long Pavana, composed with help from former band member Oliviero Lacagnina and also released in edited form on single (but curiously this appeared on Grog label).

Aquile e Scoiattoli

Vacche Sacre

The band kept playing until the beginning of the 80's with an always more commercial sound but the singles released were not successful. Their last single from 1980, Ritagli di luce, even took them to the Sanremo Italian song contest. The group included in its latest days bassist Dario Carlevaro and drummer Enzo Barbieri. An album recorded in 1979 was not released until 1992 on CD by Mellow. Called Vampyrs, and played by the three-piece line-up of Gori, Poltini and Vitanza, it's mostly pop-rock and not comparable with the band's previous works. Drummer Alfio Vitanza has collaborated with Vittorio De Scalzi in a revised New Trolls' line-up at the end of the 90's and he is still playing nowadays with the recent De Scalzi's New Trolls incarnation called La Storia dei New Trolls. Latte e Miele have reunited in 2008 for a series of concerts as a quartet, with Oliviero Lacagnina, Marcello Dellacasa and Alfio Vitanza from the original line-up and Massimo Gori, who played in the second line-up. From one of these concerts, held in Canada, a nice live CD has been taken, entitled Live Tasting (2008). A new studio album by the reborn group has been issued in 2009, entitled Marco Polo-Sogni e Viaggi.

Studio albums

Passio Secundum Mattheum (1972):
1. Introduzione (2:16) 
2. Il Giornio Degli Azzimi (1:26) 
3. Ultima Cena (1:48) 
4. Getzemani (4:14) 
5. Il Processo (1:29) 
6. I Testimoni(1° parte) (6:02) 
7. I Testimoni(2° parte) (2:12) 
8. Il Pianto (1:48) 
9. Giuda (0:43) 
10. Il Re Dei Giudei (1:40) 
11. Il Calvario (7:04) 
12. Il Dono Della Vita (3:43) 
13. Mese Di Maggio (bonus track 4:24) 

Papillon (1973):
1. Papillon (19:50) 
a) Ouverture (1:09) 
b) Primo Quadro (La Fuga) (2:04) 
c) Secondo Quadro (Il Mercato) (3:23) 
d) Terzo Quadro (L'Incontro) (3:58) 
e) Quarto Quadro (L'Arresto) (2:51) 
f) Quinto Quadro (Il Verdetto) (1:32) 
g) Sesto Quadro (La Trasformazione) (3:45) 
h) Settimo Quadro (Corri Nel Mondo) (0:48) 
2. Divertimento (2:02) 
3. Patetica (16:42) 
a) Parte Prima (4:30) 
b) Parte Seconda (6:21) 
c) Parte Terza (5:51) 
4. Strutture (3:52) 
5. Tanto Amore (bonus track 3:50)

Aquile e Scoiattoli (1976):
1. Aquile e Scoiattoli (3:39) 
2. Vacche sacre-falso menestrello (5:12) 
3. Menestrello (5:10) 
4. Opera 21 (5:03) 
5. Pavana (23:45) 

Vampyrs (1979 recordings, 1992):
1. King of darkness
2. Master of the time
3. I don't wanna see you
4. Burning out
5. Life is just a game
6. Nobody's comin'
7. Stasera
8. Angela
9. Fumetti Rosa
10. Un colpevole mago
11. Rock 'N' roll star
12. American time
13. Dimenticare,ricominciare
14. Immagini di un porto

Marco Polo-Sogni E Viaggi (2009):
1. San Marco (1:30)
2. Carnival (3:16)
3. Il Sogno (3:14)
4. Via Si Va (3:33)
5. I Crociati (8:07)
6. Il Deserto Del Gobi (4:11)
7. Il Matrimonio Del Bimbi Nel Vento (3:10)
8. Pechino (4:52)
9. Kubilai Kan (3:32)
10. L'ultimo Unicorno (3:24)
11. La Battaglia Di Curzola (5:31)
12. La Prigione (4:22)
13. Sogno Incrociato (2:17)
14. Ritorno A San Marco (1:36)

Live albums

Live (1992):
1. Ouverture da J.S. Bach (2:40) 
2. Passio Secundum Mattheum (7:44) 
a) Introduzione 
b) Getzemani 
c) Il processo 
3. Patetica (10:44) 
4. Pavane (16:58)

Live Tasting (2008):
1. Passio Secundum Mattheum 
a) Introduzione (3:09)
b) Il giorno degli azzimi (1:46)
c) Getzemani (5:27)
d) Tiberiade (new track 1:42)
e) Il pianto (2:03)
f) Il re dei Giudei (1:59)
g) Il calvario (3:56)
h) Il dono della vita (2:20)
i) Finale (1:39)
2. Papillon
a) Ouverture (1:25)
b) Primo quadro (2:29)
c) Rimani nella mia vita (3:26)
3. Fantasia per Chandra (2:50)
4. Pavana
a) Pavana parte prima (7:02)
b) Pavana parte seconda (4:20)
c) Counter dance (new track 1:17)
d) Pavana parte terza (10:57)
5. Vision of Sunlight (new track 6:54)