With an array of instruments (mandolin, bouzouki, mandocello, ukulele, guitar, Turkish laouta, 6-string banjo, charango, flutes, percussion, etc.), Mario Poletti and his three friends have created a ten-spot of lilting happy folk music in a trad European, particularly the lower regions, vein. This is the kind of smiling, grinning, skipping, and dancing material that scores so much of the European theater, songs bringing back vistas of nomadic gypsies, colorful costumes, rolling hills filled with sheep, emerald seas studded with craggy islands, the whole National Geographic shebang.
Poletti and Oreste Garello wield the strings while Gerardo Cardinale plies a supple flute and Daniele Bianciotto adds percussion. All are equally important to the overall sound, which is a lighthearted set of well-paced compositions airily waltzing hither and yon in folk cadences rich with interplay and melody variation. Both stringpluckers are excellent fingerpickers with Cardinale's flute often chasing after both in chamber fashion. In Des Clochettes Sonnent, Bianciotto obtains a commanding intro with chimes, bells, and various whatnots before launching into a melody that eventually breaks down completely into a dissonance and anarchy that sprints full tilt finally back to the center and ends.
Andando is 100% original material but you'll swear you've heard it elsewhere before…save for the completely modernist pieces like Simum. obviously a variant of 'simoom', the Arabic wind, with the piece very mid-Eastern in slant and jazzy in effect. This is music that's only too happy to enshrine the many virtues of times gone by while adding their own joie de vivre, slyness, and sometimes even Penguin Cafe Orchestra chamberisms. Someone on that side of the Atlantic, please get a copy of this to Ennio Morricone.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles