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Bobby McFerrin: Vocabularies

AAJ Italy Staff By

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A quando risale l'ultimo capolavoro di McFerrin? Diciamo, più o meno, all'esordio omonimo; 28 anni fa. Poi c'è stato il live The Voice e anche Spontaneous Inventions. Una trilogia nella quale il cantante newyorkese imponeva la sua multiforme e giocosa abilità vocale sospesa tra le esperienze di Tormé, Vaughan, Hendricks e Manhattan Transfer e le possibilità moderne e tecnologiche della sovra incisione.

Ne uscivano fuori riletture di standard e classici ("You've Really Got a Hold on Me," "Another Night in Tunisia," "Blackbird," "I Feel Good") fortemente evocative e innovative. Bobby McFerrin, con la post produzione e l'abilità, aveva spinto la voce oltre ogni possibilità nell'immaginario: mai stata così vicina agli strumenti che imitava (tromba, sax soprano, batteria). Dopo era venuto il tempo del successo planetario e dei "piaceri semplici" e miliardari ("Don't Worry Be Happy").

Ora per il cantante è venuto il tempo di riprendere in mano le redini dell'espressività vocale. E questo ultimo Vocabularies è più di una certezza. Nato da una collaborazione con il compositore Roger Treece, il CD mette in mostra un campionario di oltre 50 voci provenienti dalle più disparate esperienze musicali e etniche (gli appassionati di jazz riconosceranno tra queste i nomi di Luciana Souza e Theo Bleckmann). Europa dell'Est, Africa, Oriente, sono gli orizzonti geografici che vengono toccati in questa poliedrica e suggestiva rappresentazione dello stato della voce nel nuovo secolo. Alcune tracce sono tratte da Medicine Music, completamente rielaborate e ravvivate da nuovi e più efficaci arrangiamenti.

L'iniziale "Baby" è già una dichiarazione d'intenti. Una miriade di voci sembrano rincorrersi senza sosta nel descrivere atmosfere di pace e tranquillità: segno di una fase creativa che non ascoltavamo dalla voce di Bobby McFerrin da molto tempo. Poi c'è il fascino ancestrale di "Wailers" nel quale si con-fondono continenti e esperienze musicali le più disparate.

La conclusiva "Brief Eternity," dopo altri e notevoli esempi di cosa significhi polifonia di voci, evoca canti gregoriani che sembravano appartenere solo al consumo scriteriato e commercial della New Age. Tutt'altro. La vita artistica di McFerrin ricomincia a 60 anni.

Track Listing: Baby; Say Ladeo; Wailers; Messages; The Garden; He Ran to the Train; Brief Eternity.

Personnel: Bobby McFerrin: lead vocals; Roger Treece: vocals, percussion/synthesizer programming (1-6); Lisa Fischer: vocals; Joey Blake: vocals (1-6); Kim Nazarian: vocals (1-6); Janis Siegel: vocals (1, 2, 3, 5, 6); LaTanya Hall: vocals (1- 6); Luciana Souza: vocals (2-6); Albert Hera: vocals (3-6); Lauren Kinhan: vocals (1, 3, 5, 6); Peter Eldridge: vocals (1, 4, 5, 7); Alexandra Montano: vocals (2, 4, 7); Andrea Figallo: vocals (4, 6, 7); Darmon Meader: vocals (1, 2, 7); Darryl Tookes: vocals (3, 5, 6); Dave Worm: vocals (3, 5, 6); Katie Campbell: vocals (1, 4, 7); Kristina Boerger: vocals (1, 4, 7); Amelia Watkins: vocals (4, 7); Aubrey Johnson: vocals (2, 4); David Root: vocals (4, 7); Everett Bradley: vocals (3, 5); Fletcher Sheridan: vocals (4, 7); Gary Eckert: vocals (1, 2); Mark Johnson: vocals (4, 7); Michele Eaton: vocals ( 4, 7); Michelle Mailhot Vines: vocals (4, 7); Pierre Cook: vocals (5, 6); Rhiannon: vocals (3, 5); Ryland Angel: vocals (4, 7); Sandra Anderson: vocals (1, 7); Beth Quist: vocals (1); Bonnie Denise Christensen: vocals (2); Cole Davis: vocals (7); Curtis King: vocals (3); Daniel Abraham DeVeau: vocals (7); Darren Percival: vocals (2); Datevik Hovanesian: vocals (3); David B. Whitworth: vocals (3); Elizabeth Farnum: vocals (4); Gayla Morgan: vocals (4); Josephine Lee: vocals (1); Judy Doneghy: vocals (1); Kevin Osborne: vocals (1); Lincoln Briney: vocals (2); Marlon Saunders: vocals (5); Michael Steinburger: vocals (4); Michele Weir: vocals (1); Richard Slade: vocals (4); Rosana Eckert: vocals (2); Sussan Deyhim: vocals (3); Theo Bleckmann: vocals (4); Thom Baker: vocals (4); Alex Acuna: percussion (1-6); Donny McCaslin: saxophone (4); Pedro Eustache: woodwinds (4).

Title: Vocabularies | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: EmArcy

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