Tabulè Marie Merci
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Marie Merci
CNI, Italy (

cd cover If anyone tried to create the archetypal traditional group from the Italian South, he might start with the instruments: the voice, the mandolin, the organetto. Then, he will try to cover some of the classics of the repertoire: "To to to," "Pizzicarella," "Pizzica di Maggio," and "Tarantella."

He'll find the right musical acolytes: Radicanto and Manigold, for example. He'll look for the right place to base himself and so he might try Salento, in Apulia, bellybutton of the South and meeting point of people. He'll write original compositions and dedicate them to archetypal Marias. He'll give his project a name: Tabulè, a cous-cous based salad of the same name that matches and mixes colors and species and spices and contours.

The original compositions are the wonderful "Marie Merci," "Rumba degli Sorti," "Balconi Smozzicati" (the Mangled Balconies) and "Un Nuovo Vestito" (A New Dress). Recorded in Bari, the first thank-yous on the recording go out to Radicanto and Manigold.

The traditional songs come from the Grecìa Salentina, the Roma and the Slav people and the local traditions of the majority population. Fabrizio Piepoli is the voice, Giuseppe De Trizio is the mandolin player and Claudio Prima is on the accordion. There are other instruments used as well; guitars, a tambourine, a vibraphone and a violin, a bass, a bouzouki, a douf and a riqq but this is for the most part a record based on those three instruments.

Far from a manufactured band, however, Tabulè succeed by creating a record that oozes inspiration, open-mindedness and love of the canon while bringing together the original and the traditional. This is a confident debut that manages the very difficult task of breathing fresh air into songs and compositions that have been covered often and well in the past. Although I would recommend a band like Radicanto or Ghetonìa for someone wishing to get to know the tradition, Tabulè is a welcome addition for anyone already familiar with the repertoire and looking for new takes on old standards. - Nondas Kitsos

The Tabulè web site
CD available at cdRoots

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