Claudia Bombardella Ensemble - Paesaggi Lontani
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cd cover Claudia Bombardella Ensemble
Paesaggi Lontani
Radicimusic Records (

Luxemburg-born Claudia Bombardella is a saxophone teacher, a member of a Klezmer band and a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist. She uses all those characteristics to build her compositions, some based on regional traditions, others entirely of her own design. Although the rest of her ensemble, (all classically trained and impeccable), are to be congratulated, this live recording of a February 2004 concert in Florence is very much Bombardella's record: it's her voice that imbues a sense of earthy wisdom and playfulness to the songs, her virtuosic but not tiresome or analytical playing that leads the band, her presence that fills the scene.

The existence of the Faraway Landscapes that the title of the CD alludes to is expressed through the use of traditional Armenian, Old Hungarian, Sephardic, Roma and her own Italian, French and German texts. Despite this variety of material, the recording presents a rare unity of sound and spirit characterized by an earthy feeling. Her alto voice rides an acoustic sound wave of violin, bass, accordion and saxophone, creating an atmosphere of mysticism, reminiscence, narrative and sensuality.

There are several moments throughout this record that stand out: the violin part in "Histoire d'un souvenir," the combination of Bombardella's voice and the full throttle of the band in "Punta di becco di merlo," the entire "Danza di una piuma" and "Danza antica" and the very contemporary "A la una." This record combines peaceful and more energetic pieces and keeps the listener's interest throughout its duration, thanks in part to suprising but well thought-out bursts of aural dissonance.

Although at first this recording might seem to be equal to a hundred others released each year, Paessaggi Lontani stands out for its careful execution and musical sensibility. - Nondas Kitsos

CD available from cdRoots

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