Alessandra Belloni - Tarantelle & Canti d'More
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Alessandra Belloni
Tarantelle & Canti d'More- The Songs of Alessandra Belloni
Naxos World (www.naxosworld.com)

Percussionist, vocalist, dancer, tireless researcher and educator, Alessandra Belloni brings the musical traditions of southern Italy explosively to life on this savory disc. The tarantella, a dance long considered mere campy entertainment performed at weddings and other social events, has long been a topic of interest for Belloni. The tarantella's origins as a dance that channeled both mystic and erotic energy to promote healing are celebrated throughout her music, but the work songs, love songs and lullabies she interprets are powerful and passionate as well. The spiritual perspectives that exist in southern Italy today have origins in rituals honoring earth and nature as well as deities, and though the further syncretism that led to veneration of such icons as the Black Madonna is too complex to get into here, the music that Belloni performs in celebration of it is deep, heartfelt and often positively stomping.

Many of the songs here build and swirl to dizzying climaxes, with an array of Italian, Arabic and even African and Brazilian percussion storming away beneath a wail of wind and string instruments. The feel approaches a kind of Mediterranean bluegrass at times, though always with a slightly ominous edge-often from Belloni's penetrating mezzo soprano vocals or the haunting work of guest flutist Steve Gorn-that keeps whimsy at bay. In the liner notes, Belloni recounts 20 years of research that led to the creation of this music, and it was certainly time well spent. This cd has proved more entrancing with each successive listen. - Tom Orr

Available at cdroots


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