Home » Jazz Articles » Paolo Angeli: Rade

Album Review

Paolo Angeli: Rade


Sign in to view read count
Paolo Angeli: Rade
Sardinia is never far from Paolo Angeli's heart and mind. In a storied career, the Italian guitarist has often drawn inspiration from his island's landscapes, soundscapes, culture and history, notably on albums such as S'û (ReR Megacorp, 2015) and Jar'a (ReR Megacorp, 2021). Even on 22.22 Free Radiohead (ReR Megacorp, 2019), his highly original tribute to the English alt-rock band, the sounds of Sardinian folk music ghosted through the music. On Rade, Angeli's Sardinian immersion is deeper still.

With his extraordinary, prepared guitar—a veritable orchestra of lead and sympathetic strings, hammers, pedals and mini-propellers that summon bell-like trills—Angeli evokes the sounds of a ship's foghorn, blowing winds and breaking waves. However, these effects are just the tip of the iceberg. Bowed and electronic-filtered drones drift in and out throughout the one-hour suite, while Angeli also juggles bass and cello lines, acoustic guitar intricacy and electric guitar surges. An array of percussive effects color the music. Rhythms, overt and implied, are a constant. Surprisingly, given the multiple layers at play, only one of the suite's nine segments, "Ottava," employs loops or overdubs.

Angeli's singing is another potent element in the mix. His yearning, vibrato-heavy delivery borrows from traditional Sardinian folk, occupying a curious middle ground between earthy roots music and sacred incantation. Wordless cry gives way to lyrics borrowed from eighteenth-century Sardinian poetry—hymns to the rhythms of nature and to the rhythms of love. As impressive as Angeli's technical command of his multi-faceted guitar certainly is, his vocals convey an emotional currency which lies at the heart of the music.

Strains of Arabic and Sardinian melodies dovetail with ambient sounds that, as is the case on "Rade," border on the psychedelic. The smallest musical gestures—a horn- like drone, a bell-like strum, a little percussive jangling—gradually build, swelling into mighty walls of sound which rise and fall dramatically. Angeli's bow conjures strikingly contrasting textures, from lyrical cello lines and fuzzy electric grunge to synthesizer-esque balm. There is also plenty of precise fingering in the suite's quieter passages, although Angeli eschews virtuoso displays.

The suite is best experienced uninterrupted, where the music's arc reveals a sinewy narrative which is ancient and somehow timeless, traditional yet innovative. A compelling sonic journey whose transporting qualities duly linger.

Track Listing

Ottava; Azhar; Baklawa; Pece; Mare Lungo; Secche; Tejalone; Rade; Niebla; Andira.


Paolo Angeli: guitar and vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Prepared Sardinian guitar; vocals; electronics.

Album information

Title: Rade | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: AnMa ReR Megacorp

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album



Live From the Heat Dome
Thomas Marriott
I Hear Music
Diane Marino
Eve Risser Red Desert Orchestra
Lovely Error
James O'Sullivan


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.