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Lello Molinari: Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1

Jim Olin By

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Stellar bassist Lello Molinari has put together an ensemble of captivating instrumentals on his album Lello's Italian Job. Molinari exceeds expectations on a record with pleasant surprises; however, this collection is more than just ear candy. It's an imagination springboard that will take listeners to oases they've never been before.

Mysterious and intriguing, "Speranze Perdute" can very well fit onto the soundtrack of Sherlock. Listening to this track is like participating in a cat and mouse chase set in the 1800s. Translated as "Lost Hopes" in English, this song unknowingly shifts from its seemingly secretive rhythms to something more intense and riveting as if it is on the verge of discovering answers. Molinari's impeccable bass playing is what gives this track character and direction. His solo toward the end of the song is flawless. "Speranze Perdute" concludes playfully and triumphantly as if sweetly declaring "mystery solved."

Showcasing Molinari's mastery of the strings, "Strada 'nfosa" begins with a striking bass and acoustic guitar intro that paves way to a romantic trumpet solo. The bass guitar can be a very saccharine instrument, as Molinari proves here. Tailor-made for candlelight dinners and slow dancing, this track illustrates deep, passionate love that knows no end.

"Tammurriata Nera" is reminiscent of the film The Italian Job, which is incidentally part of the title of this album. Its intensity is seen on different levels, leaving minimal room for downtime. It's a multi-faceted song with a mix of slow and fast beats with bass undertones and solos that perfectly complements the trumpet and percussion. There is a beautiful unpredictability in this cut that is irresistibly catchy. It's like a constant unfolding and a continuous heightening of the senses, capping off with a wild crescendo of people hollering, as if simply boasting, "This is how we roll."

Molinari doesn't reveal all his cards in this LP. Just when one puzzle seems to be figured out, it flips in a different direction that will surprise and delight at the same time. Like a clever magician, Molinari will keep you guessing. With an average length of six minutes per track there is a whole lot of room for the unexpected in this album. And what's great about not knowing? The thrill of discovery, which is exactly what Molinari has delivered.

Track Listing: Libiamo nei lieti calici; Caravan Petrol; Speranze perdute; Voce 'e notte; Fuhgeddaboudit; Strada 'nfosa; Musetta's Waltz; Quanno chiove; Tammurriata nera.

Personnel: Lello Molinari: acoustic and electric Bass; Dino Govoni: tenor and soprano sax; Sal DiFusco: electric, acoustic guitar, and mandolin; Marcello Pellitteri: drums and percussion.

Title: Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced


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