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Fresu, Paolo/A Filetta Corsican Voices/Daniele di Bonaventura: Mistico Mediterraneo

It's not everyday you get to hear something as different as Mistico Meditarraneo, a collaboration between Italian trumpet star Paolo Fresu, bandoneon player Daniele di Bonaventura, and the A Filetta Corsican Voices. While much of what you'll find on this CD can be classified as jazz, the addition of di Bonavantura's bandoneon (an accordion-like portable wind instrument that sort of sounds like a clarinet) and the wonderful vocal interplay of the A Filetta bring plenty of folk and gypsy flavors to the mix. This is actually the first time the A Filetta Corsican Voices have appeared on an ECM recording, and I'm guessing it won't be the last.

Listen to di Bonaventura go for broke on the engaging "Da t m", a rousing number with flurrying banoneon notes while Fresu smolders underneath. The trumpet master makes his presence felt throughout the album, but often times he shows plenty of restraint and creates haunting soundscapes over which the singers can lay down their majestic vocal counterpoint. "Le Lac" is one such number, with ominous trumpet sounds from Fresu drifting over the great distance while the A Filetta drop in a wide variety of vocal passages. It's a somewhat chilling, yet ultimately calming experience. Fresu's yearning melodies tug at your heart on the gorgeous "Dies Irae", while the more upbeat "Gloria" sees the vocalists doing a wonderful acapella amidst intriguing soundscapes. The fantastic vocal counterpoint on "La folie du Cardinal" quickly brought to mind the early 70's work of legendary prog rock band Gentle Giant, and fans of Miles Davis' classic album Sketches of Spain will love the majestic number "U Sipolcru". Fresu mixes in some flugelhorn on the classical-meets-jazz piece "Figliolu d'ella", and the somber "Sanctus" closes out the album in a very touching and poignant way, with Fresu's trumpet never sounding more beautiful and di Bonaventura's bandoneon gently offering some emotional notes.

There's a great booklet included that features plenty of photos, a long essay about the creation of the album, and all the original Corsican lyrics. Mistico Mediterraneo is unlike just about anything else you'll hear this year, and definitely worth checking into.

Track Listing
1. Rex tremendae 5:00
2. Liberata 5:24
3. Da t m 5:08
4. Le Lac 6:40
5. Dies Irae 5:15
6. Gloria 4:24
7. Corale 3:45
8. La folie du Cardinal 1:46
9. U Sipolcru 4:38
10. Scherzi veranili 2:54
11. Figliolu d'ella 4:21
12. Gradualis 2:29
13. Sanctus 4:42

Added: February 27th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 3006
Language: english

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