Voyage En Sardaigne
In the 1820's a writer named Alberto Ferrero della Marmora visited the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The resulting book, "Voyage en Sardaigne," described his travels, the people he met and the places saw. |
A century later, Italian composer and saxophonist Enzo Favata takes us on that same journey, charting his map with both the local music of the island and the his own innovative jazz and pop influences. |
The core group for this project is Favata's regular ensemble; acoustic guitar player Marcello Peghin, Daniele Di Bonaventura on bandoneon, acoustic bassist Salvatore Maltana and percussionist Roberto Pellegrini. To this the composer adds classical string quartets, traditional polyphonic singing by a number of ensembles: Tenores di Bitti, Tenores and Cuncordu di Orosei and Cuncordu di Castelsardo. The diatonic accordion of Totore Chessa and Luigi Lai's launeddas (a local reed instrument with a sound not to distant from smaller versions of bagpipes) contribute a traditional air, as well as some interesting counterpoints in a few of the contemporary settings. There is also participation by members of Dino Saluzi's Jana Project (although not the bandoneon man himself) that generates a lot of the sharper edge the recording often has.
What could have been a pastiche of various styles and sounds is in fact a wonderful trip, almost as if you were travelling blindfolded along the back roads and urban paths of Sardinia, soaking it up in a one hour blur of towns, villages and cities. The sounds overlap and combine in new ways. Occasionally they burst out in strictly traditional dance tunes that then spread out into an ambient soundscape. There are straight ahead jazz moments, but even they show occasional surprises as a wheezing launeddas or a gentle marimba line punctures the familiar and shatters the shell of your expectations. The singing, both in it's a cappella form and incorporated into the larger work, is superb, sometimes almost jarring.
Favata has done something that is near impossible, although often attempted. He takes the folk music of a small region and discovers its secrets. He does not attempt recreation, but rather he marries his own sensibilities to the ancient music, generating new life that is unique and compelling. - Cliff Furnald
Available at cdRoots