Enzo Avitabile & Bottari
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Enzo Avitabile & Bottari
Salvamm'o Munno / Save the World
Wrasse / Il Manifesto (www.wrasserecords.com)

cd cover Though Enzo Avitabile has been a name associated with modern pop in Italy, his latest record is united around the sound of the Bottari, a group of "barrel beaters" from the Campania area of southern Italy.

Avitabile uses modern and traditional instruments to layer sounds over the metronome-like beat of the chorus of drummers. The Bottari base their sound on a tradition from the Middle Ages when men beat the barrels used to store hemp to keep away evil spirits. While it is an intriguing, naturalistic sound, the barrels are given one rhythmic pattern in each song and stick with it throughout. One can only imagine what the drum chorus would have sounded like in the hands of a more creative percussion master such as Carlinhos Brown of Brazil.

Nevertheless, the tunes are intelligently arranged and are helped with guest appearances from Khaled, Hugh Masekela, Manu Dibango and Amina. Avitabile keeps the Bottari's rhythms the focus of the original songs, while gently nudging them into modernity. - Marty Lipp

CD available from cdRoots

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