Francesco Cataldo: Giulia

Francesco Cataldo - Giulia
BUY THIS ALBUM ON AMAZON.COM

The pairing of a piano and a guitar – though not so rare in popular music of any style – makes for unusual and often brilliant harmonic colouration. The piano is, after all at its heart, a stringed instrument but the music being produced by means of the effect of a series of hammers can produce a many-splendoured effect. Meanwhile the guitar – played by means of plucking [that is pizzicato] might also have a kind of percussive effect. But when it is played as dexterously as it is by Francesco Cataldo much more seems to occur in the lyrical miniatures that are this music.

The guitar, in Mr Cataldo’s elegant hands has a huge vocabulary of sounds and effects which, when combined [both with other effects and sounds he is able to extract from his instrument and with the piano and other instruments in this ensemble] make it sound as if it is as big as an ensemble in and of itself. Francesco Cataldo has the requisite virtuosity and insight into his instrument to make that happen and he deploys them judiciously throughout this beautiful repertoire.

They range from harmonics and [of course] pizzicato to technique exotica such as “nut-side”, “nail-Sizzle” and “bi-tone tapping” all of which Mr Cataldo combines with a battery of percussion special effects [his guitar seems to come with a drum set attached]. All of this makes for a sound as big as the ensemble itself. Of course, Mr Cataldo is astute enough to acknowledge the considerable musicianship of his musical cohort even as he plays piano on “Two Ways”.

The piano parts – especially those played so poetically and eloquently by someone of the immense calibre of Marc Copland – together with those played by Mr Cataldo make the harmonic canvas exponentially larger. Add to that the erudite and glorious rumbling of the contrabass in the hands of Pietro Leveratto and the incomparable Adam Nussbaum’s percussion coloring – musical rattle and hum, and elegant sizzle of cymbals – and you have marvellous music that will live in your sensibilities long after the album itself runs out. The sheer beauty of song after song in Giulia – all of which unfurl like diaphanous silk – make for a musical soundscape that is irresistible, and an album to die for.

L to R: Pietro Leveratto, Francesco Cataldo, Adam Nussbaum, Marc Copland. Photo by Andrea Masciocchi.
L to R: Pietro Leveratto, Francesco Cataldo, Adam Nussbaum, Marc Copland. Photo by Andrea Masciocchi.

Track list – 1: I Tuoi Colori [Prologo]; 2: Guilia; 3: Levante; 4: Waltz for Two; 5: Two Ways; 6: Joy and Pain; 7: Two Colours; 8: So Small so Big; 9: Two Ways [Reprise]; 10: Circles [Epilogo]

Personnel – Vito Francesco Cataldo: arrangements, guitars and piano [5, 9]; Marc Copland: piano; Pietro Leveratto: contrabass; Adam Nussbaum: drums

Released – 2020
Label – Alfa Music [AFMCD 225]
Runtime – 49:30

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

11,395FansLike
1,607FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,857FollowersFollow
5,694FollowersFollow
165SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more