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Actis Furioso: Avanti Popolo!

Jerry D'Souza By

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Carlo Actis Dato is back with another of his irrepressible bands, Actis Furioso. The tentet was captured live at the D'Jazz Festival in Nevers, France in 2002 and in Torino, Italy in December 2004. The music is colourful and vibrant, attributes that are made all the more tangible by the musicians, whose art goes beyond the pale of the ordinary. Each brings a strength that enlarges and bloods the composition; and as music and theatre meet—the latter quite apparent even on record—the listener is in for a stimulating experience.

Actis Dato builds many of his compositions on the folk music of the places he visits. The result is a broad panorama of sounds daubed and splattered and twisted into a remarkable assemblage. The raucous edge of showtime comes right off with the band chanting before getting into "Perdasdefogu, with Actis Dato's robust baritone sax leading the melodic charge. As the drums and percussion get into the thick, Luca Calabrese dissipates the melody, knotting it, and then when he comes back, bouncing the lines. But the straight and expected is not for the band to essay; instead, these players keep juxtaposing the theme with free-spirited passages.

"Mar Tirreno is another alluring tune. The band infuses a light twirl that is extended and distended by Actis Dato on the tenor sax, with the other horns adding the counterpoint. As the piece progresses, the sound gets deeper into the groove, and then it is pulled out and sent out to whirl by percussion and Piero Ponzo's airy clarinet. Beppe Di Filippo brings in the waltz on "Djolibà, the song floating beautifully, the horns then taking it into a more animated air. But this being Actis Furioso, a robust sound soon infiltrates the piece, which becomes a take-off point for Di Filippo, who fills the extension with entertaining ideas. There is plenty of room for soloists here, but Ponzo has the most illumining moments. The final layer of beckoning is cast by the drums and percussion duo of Fiorenzo Sordini and "Chiquitico Ferdinando Despaigne.

Avanti Popolo!, a sprightly record which casts a spell, also has a video of the band in concert.


Track Listing: Perdasdefogu; Mar Tirreno; Oltremare; Djolib

Personnel: Luca Calabrese: trumpet; Marco Rigoletti: trumpet; Gianpiero Malfatto: trombone and tuba; Carlo Actis Dato: tenor and baritone sax, bass clarinet; Piero Ponzo: alto sax, clarinet; Beppe Di Filippo: soprano, alto and tenor sax;

Title: Avanti Popolo! | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Splasc(H) Records

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