Good news for lovers of innovative, laid-back, atmospheric chamber jazz. The Mare Nostrum project, comprising Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren, French accordionist Richard Galliano and Italian trumpet and fugel horn player, Paolo Fresu have just released a second album. It has the imaginative title Mare Nostrum 2. And on first listen it is a worthy follow up to their first outing from 2008.
Three fine musicians, each with a busy career of their own, combining to create music which is completely unique.
Mr Fresu will now serve as a useful starting point for a thread about Italian music. One that I fear may be rather short. How many Italian artists can you name? In the past few days we’ve had a couple of fine tracks from Pino Daniele and Vinicio Caposella, who I suspect were new names for most of us.
Many of you have doubtless visited Italy on holiday, watched quite a few Italian movies and enjoyed Italian food and wine. But what do we know about the country’s music? This thread is an attempt to put that right. So please rack your brains for favourite Italian artists or songs. Any genre! Pop, jazz, folk, reggae, ambient, classical, metal…..
There is one simple reason for this low profile: Italian artists do insist on singing in Italian.When I visited Rome a record shop in Rome a couple of years back I was a bit gobsmacked by how few records there were by artists singing in English. Quite a contrast to Pet Sounds in Stockholm. In addition to all the US artists, there are all those Swedish acts who choose to sing in English to reach an international audience.
Those proud Italians won’t have any truck with that nonsense. They have a beautiful language and they are going to use it. But has this meant that they have become something of a musical backwater?
Is their musical culture a little conservative?
Please prove me wrong by posting any Italian artists you know who are pushing the envelope.