Skip to main content

Prog/Symphonic Rock Review: Giannotti-The Great Unknown

Release Date: 10th September 2014
Label: Northford Pines Music

Giannotti is the US based crossover progressive vehicle for the musician Robert Giannotti, formerly of the band, Jasper Wraith. Robert was a founding member of Jasper Wraith in the early 70’s, a band that were very influenced by Yes/Moody Blues and others of that ilk. He left Jasper Wraith and for the best part of 4 decades, and did little in a musical capacity apart from some studio work, preferring to concentrate on his photography. In 2010 he completed a recording studio and set about writing and recording his debut solo album, The Great Unknown, which was finally finished, and released, in 2014.

I am extremely glad that this particular release landed on my review desk as it is a gem, which I was hitherto totally unaware of. The album is a 7 track release with a total playing time of around 58 minutes. The longest track on offer is the title track, “The Great Unknown” with a running time of just under 12 minutes (11:57), and at 5:29 minutes, track 6, “Corridor of Doors” is the shortest.

The musicians involved in The Great Unknown were Robert (guitar, flute, bass, keyboards and drums), George Clini (drums), Mike Soldan (drums and bass) and an array of vocalists, Nicole, Natalia and Jack Tanner, as well as, Ryan and Collin Graveline.

Opening the album, The Great Unknown, is “Intentions – Letting Go” (8:44) and it is a stunning introduction to the music with its symphonic start and excellent guitar soaring high above everything. As it progresses with an acoustic strummed guitar, melodic electric guitar, flute, keyboards and great vocals, this is a very satisfying listen. Over the 8+ minutes there are various influences float across your mind, including The Moody Blues, Yes, Jethro Tull and ELP. Now, don’t get the wrong idea with this comparison list, as Robert I believe is playing the music he really likes and his early influences seem to infiltrate here and there, but at no time is there the sense of “copying” from the past. “Intentions – Letting Go” is a stunning opener and makes you eager to sample what follows.

“Voyage” (8:20) starts with some atmospheric, almost dark, acoustic guitar which slowly merges into a more upbeat tempo. Emotive vocals from the guest vocalists are melodic and harmonious and fit the music very well. Some electric guitar starts to be heard off in the background, but remains subdued, as the vocals carry the track along. Just after the halfway point, the electric guitar gets to “show off” a little in front of some excellent keyboards. This is a very atmospheric track and has a plaintive flute passage carrying the track off and away.

There is more of the excellent guitar work at the start of track 3, “Dance of the Gnome” (6:13) and immerses the listener just prior to some wonderful flute phrasings, suggesting an almost pastoral feel. This instrumental flows gently along until the flute provides another terrific passage and at the 4 minute mark, the track “hardens” a little with an almost abrasive guitar theme. The gentleness of the track returns as it fades out.

The title track, “The Great Unknown” (11:57) has a sort of ambient based backdrop over which there is a stunning electric guitar theme, interspersed with the flute. This is another beautiful track with those powerful melodious vocals. A slow building track which eventually moves into an extremely atmospheric area when the soaring guitar reappears. A gentle fading outro ends a very pleasing passage of music and upon reflection, draws influences from Pink Floyd.

“Sacred Ground” (8:45), “Corridor of Doors” (5:29) and “A World Away” (8:20) includes an almost choral style to the first of these tracks, symphonic overtones and amazing flute providing pastoral imagery to the second and sees the final track having a more symphonic, choral style, and is a beautiful building song to the finale of the album.

The Great Unknown is a majestic piece of work from Robert, with the fleeting influences from bands of the past coming and going, but never intruding throughout the 60 minutes. As the music flows over you, you can be transported back several decades and enjoy sublime aural satisfaction. Make no mistake that there seems to have been a massive oversight of this album when released, and I am very glad I was given the chance to hear and review it. How it was passed over, I really do not know, but my advice is very simple, and that is, “Get out and buy this album.” Let’s ensure that Giannotti get a huge boost in the sales of this superb, but overlooked, debut.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Intentions – Letting Go, The Great Unknown, A World Away


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

Jim “The Ancient One” Lawson-Sr. Reviewer Prog Rock Music Talk
May 9, 2016
Review Provided By Prog Rock Music Talk


Popular posts from this blog

British Post-Punk Veterans 1919 Return With A Brand New Masterpiece Of Darkly Melodic Goth Rock, FUTURECIDE!

Los Angeles, CA - Like the mythic phoenix rising from the ashes, British post-punk band 1919 have gone through Hell and back over the course of their harrowing career, but they keep returning stronger than ever! Founded in 1980, the band released its debut album Machine in 1983 and one EP a year later before calling it quits. However, the band reformed in 2014 to great acclaim, performing numerous tours and at festivals across Europe. Then, tragedy struck as the band’s founding guitarist Mark Tighe was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and succumbed to the disease in January 2017. Tighe insisted that the band should carry on without him, which they have done in finest form with their newest effort Futurecide. The album, which will be officially released on April 12 via Cleopatra Records, features brand new compositions and includes special guest performances by Tighe as well as former member Steve Madden, who also passed away this year. The first single, “Anxiety,” was released at the en…

Concert Review: Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY

Ghost At The Palace Theater Albany NY December 13, 2018

With winter upon us in the great Northeast, it was just another night. We never have a reason to stay in because of the weather, we just go. It so happened that it was a nice evening for a drive to a Ghost concert.We secured our tickets months ago and have been anticipating this night for months on end.
Last July I attended a “bucket list” concert, the great Iron Maiden was coming to Mansfield, MA. Opening for them was Ghost. This was a turn of a friendly card for the band, a great way to get worldwide exposure otherwise not afforded by a lesser band. They were already on the rise and the lead singer Papa Emeritus had a helluva a band (no pun intended there). At that time my prediction was that when the new year began Ghost would be headlining their own shows. So, then it happened, here we are tonight watching this incredible metal band headlining their own show, with no opener may I add.
For those of you unf…

Experience Hendrix Tour 2019 Concert Review

The Experience Hendrix Tour 2019 Concert The Palace Theater Albany, New York April 3, 2019

The pictures I have provided were snapped by me with my phone to give you an idea of the backdrop to the music prior to the show. That screen changed with each song and it was very trippy psychedelic colors and images that mirrored the timeframe of Jimi in his prime. -Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
The Electric Church arrived in Albany, NY last night with its all-star cast for the Experience Hendrix 2019 Tour.The music of Jimi Hendrix continues to thrive and be embraced by fans worldwide. This is a tour I have been wanting to catch for several years now and I finally made it, and so glad I did.
The best thing that could happen to this event is the involvement of Billy Cox. Anyone familiar with Jimi’s music knows that they were friends for a long time and Billy played bass on some of Jimi’s albums. Also, with Janie Hendrix involved it makes everything legit. Also havin…