RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Giannotti – The Great Unknown
Northford Pine Music

Rating: A

There is great progressive/art rock still being produced by dedicated artists around the world, even in 2015.  We’ve talked about them before.  We’ve written the reviews. 

Fans of www.classicrockrevisited.com have read about artists in Norway, New Zealand or the UK that are still creating great prog-rock, the likes of which that have not been heard since ELP or Yes.  Well, CRR is at it once again… but this review is about a domestic release that is even better, more genuine and sincere, and musically captivating than most.  The artist is called Giannotti, and hails from the faraway land of Connecticut.

No, your eyes did not deceive you.  I typed ‘Connecticut’.  Robert Giannotti is the heart, mind and soul of the album titled The Great Unknown, and he is from the upper part of the USA.  You may be tempted to do what I did when I first learned where he is from and give a good ol’ fashioned, “Well, I’ll be damned” high-five.  It’s true.  What we have here is a true masterpiece that needs to be discovered and purchased by all fans of Pink Floyd, ELP, Yes and all of the other great prog bands in this genres rich history. 

The tough part is that the music world in America does not seem to give a rat’s ass when it comes to terms like composition, virtuosity, creativeness or originality.  Sad, but true, the average person today is bombarded by the cookie-cutter American Idol mentality and will simply be force-fed the musical equivalent of strained peas when, if they took the time to seek it out, they would discover there is musical filet mignon out there on the menu for the taking. Waiter… I’m ready to order!

Robert Giannotti has an uphill climb to commercial success which might be solely based on the era within which he is releasing this CD.  That is just not fair, and something needs to be done about it.  

That is where YOU come in.  If you’re reading this review, then you’re a classic rock music lover.  I know you’ve been fooled by reviews in the past and bought something based on a writer’s suggestion, and then let it collect dust in your CD bin until you sold it on eBay or your ex-girlfriend traded it in on a used Taylor Swift disc.  Rest assured, this is NOT the case here.  This is a classy, thought and feeling provoking album from the opening note until the finale.   

Giannotti’s (is that a cool ass name or what? We don’t even have Italian FOOD in Kansas…) The Great Unknown is a progressive, art rock masterpiece (there’s that world again…but it’s true!).  The cool thing here is that he approaches this music from his soul.  Too often prog is written to impress, be uber-complex, and be more of an ego boosting practice of showing how big and bold something can be (think of most of the music made by Dream Theater, without the distracting vocals).  Once in a while, however (and I mean once in a while), a guy comes along who has the virtuosic talent, the compositional skills, and the heart and soul of a music lover.  What is created is a complex and multi-dimensional album that is honest and pure in its intention.  The Great Unknown is one of these albums.

While the seven lengthy soundscapes are progressive in nature, they are made without worrying who or what they sound like.  There are places one hears Yes or ELP or Jethro Tull (he plays flute, so you know he worships at the altar of Ian Anderson and can play the solo to “Color My World”).  There are elements of other progressive artists as well, but one gets the feeling that Robert did not worry so much about those nuances when he was creating the album.  In fact, I would be willing to bet he worried that it NOT sound so much like others… which is pretty cool.  The end result is simply pure Giannotti; the crux of The Great Unknown is simply Giannotti’s musical vision.

The artwork for the album was created by the incredible IOANNIS.  In a day and age when album artwork has gone from something important and necessary to something tiny or discarded, few can make the visual aspect of the cover congruent with the flavor of the music contained within the package.  IOANNIS has done this again and again and again throughout his career.  Suffice it to say, he’s done it again.  This cover is the icing on an already delicious cake.

This one is a winner from start to finish. 

Buy this one and support real music being made by real artists.

Purchase The Great Unknown here: http://giannottimusic.com/store/

Track Listing:

1. Intentions - Letting Go
2. Voyage
3. Dance of the Gnome
4. The Great Unknown
5. Sacred Ground
6. Corridor of Doors
7. A World Away

By Jeb Wright