Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

3

Canzionere Grecanico Salentino: New York, NY February 1, 2013

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Canzionere Grecanico Salentino
Michael Schimmel Center For the Arts at Pace University
New York, NY
February 1, 2013

At the opening performance of its debut US tour, the Southern Italian Canzionere Grecanico Salentino sextet presented a cohesive set of traditional and original songs in an almost all-acoustic setting. The sextet opened by coming onstage, one by one. Accordionist Massimiliano Morabito began alone, and was slowly joined by the other members of the group. The ensemble played an up-tempo tune that got the mostly Italian audience singing or clapping along to the ever-increasing tempo.

Led by Mauro Durante (vocals, violin and frame drum), the group continued with songs that sometimes had a Middle Eastern vibe, while others resembled Celtic music- -especially through their use of the bagpipe-like chiaramella and because most relied on but two or three chords. Some tunes had a more contemporary feel, such as "Nu Te Fermare, "an original song from Pizzica Indiavolata (Puglia Sounds, 2012), which featured multi-instrumentalist Giulio Bianco on electric bass—one of the few numbers to include a non-acoustic instrument.

Durante explained that some lyrics were played in Grecanico—a dialect from his region that, according to his words, is disappearing because it is no longer spoken by younger generations. Dancer Silvia Perrone joined the group for the more up-tempo numbers, enhancing the music by interacting with the musicians and audience members, some of whom were already dancing in the open spaces in the theater. Among the highlights were "Bella Ci Dorme," a slow serenade sung by vocalist/percussionist Maria Mazzotta, whose lyrics told the story of a man singing under his loved one's window as she comfortably sleeps, and "Tambbirriedhu Mia," a percussion-rich tune in which audience members sang along during the chorus.

There were a lot of improvised moments during the show—the musicians often looking at each other as to signal that their solos were ending—and halfway through the show, Durante played a frame drum solo that included various rhythms, including rock and samba. At the end of the set, the group returned to the stage and played some tunes, including a reprise of "Tambbirriedhu Mia," without any microphones.

The concert, which lasted roughly two hours, was a welcome introduction to a genre that is rarely heard Stateside. The band managed to keep the audience engaged throughout, switching instruments and beats as it went along.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Vorcza at Nectar's Live Reviews Vorcza at Nectar's
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews Rossano Sportiello Trio at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms Live Reviews Jazztopad 2017: Concerts In Living Rooms
by Martin Longley
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017" Live Reviews Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Jay Phelps at the Harrow Arts Centre" Live Reviews Jay Phelps at the Harrow Arts Centre
by Barry Witherden
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront" Live Reviews Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Chris Oatts Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe" Live Reviews Chris Oatts Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Cafe
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery" Live Reviews Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: December 10, 2017