(cover/record): VG+ / VG+
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catalog ID: 5150
While in high school Joe DiFazio began taking
classical music lessons. Graduating high school he applied to and was
accepted to Ohio's Baldwin-Wallace College's music program. College opened
up the door to the world of rock and roll and just two semesters short of
graduating, DiFazio quit school in order to play keyboards for a Canadian
Beatles cover band.
Interested in finding a way to meld rock with his earlier affection for
classical music, in 1974 DiFazio decided to strike out on his own.
Recruiting percussionist Royce Gibson, the pair began writing and recording
material. Unable to interest a major label in their efforts, the pair
eventually released the DiFazio and Perry Johnson produced "The
Atlantis Philharmonic" on their own Dharma label. First
our truth in advertising blurb. While we've seen the album show up on
various psych lists, musically the collection's best described as
progressive. For better or worse, propelled by DiFazio's synthesizers,
original material such as "Atlantis" and "Fly the Light"
bore more than a passing resemblance to ELP. To be honest, anyone into
mid-'70s progressive bands was likely to be familiar with DiFazio's blend of
AOR moves (the Styx-meets-ELP "Death Man"), Yes-styled keyboards
(watch out Rick Wakeman) and occasional classically-inspired interludes
("Woodsmen"). Those comments weren't intended to slam the LP.
Taken as a package, it makes for a fairly impressive debut. Even more so
when you consider it was recorded independently and with minimal financial
resources. Besides, we'd rather hear this than "Tarkus" any day.
Certainly worth a spin if you can find it for a reasonable price.
"The Atlantis Philharmonic" track listing:
1.) Atlantis (Joe DiFazio) - 5:11
2.) Woodsmen (Wilcox - Joe DiFazio) - 7:34
3.) Death Man (Joe DiFazio) - 5:25
1.) Fly the Light (Joe DiFazio) - 4:34
2.) My Friend (Joe DiFazio) - 4:01
3.) Atlas (Wilcox - Joe DiFazio) - 8:29
Following the album's release DiFazio and Gibson toured the Midwest
extensively, though plans to record a pair of follow-on albums never saw
fruition. By the early-'80s DiFazio had largely dropped out of music.
Increasingly interested in computer technology and musical applications he
went back to college, obtaining bachelor and masters degrees in computer
technology from Indiana State University, though he also found time to
complete his music degree. DiFazio is currently a professor of new media and
computer technology at Indiana State University.
In 1990 the New York based Lasers Edge label reissued "Atlantis
Philharmonic" in CD format (catalog number LE-1005).