....satisfying those who both understand Italian and those who appreciate good world music...
December 11, 2012
Espresso Manifesto
@ The Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto
November 27th, 2012
On a cool Tuesday night, I headed down to the Glenn Gould Studio to catch a taste of Italian music and culture from a music project known as Espresso Manifesto. Headed by vocalist Daniella Nardi, it is a project that specializes in the contemporary repertoire of singer/songwriter Paolo Conte, a big name in Italian music of the later 20th century.

In addition to the repertoire selected for the evening, much attention should be paid to the backup band that was employed for the evening. In addition to a core rhythm section of piano, guitar bass and drums, there was the folksy clarinet and accordion added to the band. Not only that, Daniella brought with her a very special guest from Italy to add some spice to the band, trumpet player Fabrizio Bosso. His solos were very fiery, full of pep and zest, bringing a jazzier aspect to the music along with the rest of the supporting crew.

The music in this presentation was very poetic, romantic, and beautiful at the same time, satisfying those who both understand Italian and those who appreciate good world music. Ranging from the opening number âAzzuroâ, with its fast dancy grooves, the reggae rhythms of âGenova Par Noiâ, the sweet melancholy of âDonât Break My Heartâ and the folksy strut of âVia Con Meâ, I was transported to a new and exciting world of music that fuses the worlds of Jazz, Italian, and other world rhythms into a very cohesive and unified whole. Probably the most exciting track was an instrumental composition by Ron Davis called âPawpwalkâ, which gave the backup band a chance to stretch out and have a good funky time with the music at hand, with groovy solos by pianist/composer Davis, guitarist Kevin Barrett and trumpeter Fabrizio Bozzo.

For me, it was a great break off the usual beaten path of Jazz and instead was being treated to the sounds of Italy by a stellar project that strives to educate the wide array of Italian culture. I feel that in this presentation, I was exposed to new music that I hope would be broadcast more in the future so that all may know who Paolo Conte is and at the same time be exposed to Italian music that is not just necessarily consist of operatic arias.

â Conrad Gayle
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