Il Balletto di Bronzo - włoski zespół, powstały w 1966 roku w Neapolu, grający rock progresywny i psychodeliczny. Początkowo zespół tworzyli Marco Cecioni (śpiew, gitara), Lino Ajello (gitara), Michele Cupaiuolo (gitara basowa) oraz Giancarlo Stinga (perkusja). Jednak już w 1971 roku Cecioni i Cupaiuolo opuścili zespół, a ich miejsce zajęli Gianni Leone (śpiew, instrumenty klawiszowe) oraz Vito Manzari (gitara basowa).
Il Balletto di Bronzo formed in Naples in the late sixties with a line-up consisting of Lino Ajello (guitar), Giancarlo Stinga (drums), Marco Cecioni (guitar/vocals) and Michele Cupaiuolo (bass) using initially the name BATTITORI SELVAGGI. Despite avoiding the fate of many other Italian progressive bands of releasing one album and splitting up (they managed two) they still suffered from a lack of interest, the reason cited by some that they were too advanced for the time, which ultimately led to a split in 1973.
Their recording career started with the single "Neve Calda" in 1969 followed the following year by the album "Sirio 2222". Not really displaying much in the way of progressive rock at this stage the album was more in the psychedelic/blues rock vein with one foot still firmly in the sixties. 1971 saw a change of line-up with Cecione and Cupaiuolo leaving. They were replaced by on keyboards/vocals, Gianni Leone, who was in the original line-up of CITTA FRONTALE and bassist Vito Manzari, formerly of QUELLE STRANE COSE CHE, a band from Rome who despite doing some recording for RCA never managed to release anything. The addition of keyboards to the band's sound was to prove an inspired move and change the dynamics of their sound drastically. Their second album "Ys", which over time has become to be regarded as a classic by many RPI fans, was a much more sophisticated affair. Bearing no resemblance to "Sirio 2222" it saw a move towards symphonic prog with a very busy playing style containing elements of jazz and classical influences. An English language version was also prepared but didn't see a release until 1992.
After the split in 1973 one more release in the form of a single titled "La Tua Casa Comoda" saw the light of day, but only featured Stinga and Leone from the "Ys" line-up. Leone went on to a solo career as LEO NERO and released two albums. Many years later he returned with a new line-up of IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO where he was the only member of the seventies incarnation. He was joined by bassist Romolo Amichi and drummer Ugo Vantini and they released the live album "Trys" in 1999. More live shows with yet another rhythm section featuring drummer Adolfo Ramundo and bassist Marco Capozi later resulted in a DVD being released in 2008 titled "Live In Rome."
On the strength of "Ys" alone IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO are regarded as one of the more important and pioneering bands of the Italian prog scene. While it won't necessarily be to every RPI fans taste, it should be at least heard. - Paul Fowler/Nightfly