All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Alessandro Bosetti: The Notebooks

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Listening to the work of Alessandro Bosetti reminds me of a friend I have who suffered a lengthy bout with sleeplessness. It wasn't so much the insomnia that tormented him but a pop song (specifically Engelbert Humperdinck's version of "Quando, Quando, Quando") that was stuck in his head. Playing on an endless loop, he feared psychosis. Night after night he returned to his bed to find Humperdinck and that Italian pop song. A simple melody took on immense power. Like my friend, Bosetti's music cultivates the melody of nearly anything, from human speech to animal sounds.

What Bosetti records today onto LPs and CDs was also being registered a century ago by the Czech composer Leoš Janáček (1854—1928) who wrote out "speech tunes," transcribing the melodies and rhythms of speech into a small notebook. His aim probably was to preserve the Moravian and other Slavic voice patterns for his music and operas. With the advent of recording devices, an ethnomusicologist like Alan Lomax in the 1940s could actually capture regional folk music, folklore and dialects. Fast forward to the 21st century, and sound is everywhere. The chatter of televisions in the doctor's office and at the gas pump, and the endless chirping of text, voicemail, and the dreaded Muzak mostly causes us to hear nothing. Unless you are Alessandro Bosetti.

Commissioned by the Janáček Opera Festival, Bosetti created these two "Notebook" pieces, both inspired by the Czech composer, but neither wholly imitative. Transcribed words are spoken in English and Czech (with regional dialects) as fodder for Bosetti, plus a female and male voice to repeat, repeat, and repeat until the words have morphed into melody. The Italian Bosetti takes pronunciation lessons at one point, then restates almost as a child might do to learn a language. His signature keyboard accompaniment of the transcribed melodies is testament to the euphony of the various combinations of words and dialects. Words become something extra. Repeated, they lose their message, change significance. The consequence is an update on Janáček "speech tunes."

"Dante And Beatrice. The Notebooks, Part 2" takes a similar approach with Bosetti's spoken/sung words processed and manipulated by some bizarre computer software. If Janáček and Bosetti have brought our attention to the song in our own voices, then this computer program accentuates the dialect of the phantom in the machine.

Track Listing: The Notebooks (2014); Dante And Beatrice. The Notebooks, Part 2 (2016).

Personnel: Alessandro Bosetti: composer, performer, sound artist.

Title: The Notebooks | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Bolt Records


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Notebooks

The Notebooks

Bolt Records

Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)

Stille Post (Radio...

Monotype Records


We Who Had Left

Madison House Publicity

You Wait To Publish

You Wait To Publish

Monotype Records



Monotype Records



die Schachtel


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "The Poetry of Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Each Edge of the Field" CD/LP/Track Review Each Edge of the Field
by John Eyles
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Reimagined" CD/LP/Track Review Reimagined
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Entremundos" CD/LP/Track Review Entremundos
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Magnetic" CD/LP/Track Review Magnetic
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 27, 2017