Paolo Angeli

Nita: L'Angelo Sul Trapezio

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The unexpected follow-up to Bucato features Paolo Angeli the composer, instead of the instrument builder and virtuoso. For Nita: L'Angelo Sul Trapezio (Nita, the Angel at the Trapeze) he brought in over 20 musicians, five singers, and a street band. Presented as "an imaginary soundtrack," Nita draws on Italian folk, Italian avant-jazz, the lighter side of RIO (Samla Mammas Manna, in particular), Frank Zappa, and a touch of Quebec musique actuelle. Typical of Angeli, the music consists of several short pieces grouped in loose suites. We move from pop songs to experimental breaks, harp-driven themes, street band numbers, and quirky avant-jazz without a chance to catch our breath. It all occasionally sounds chaotic, only to appear exquisitely organized the next minute -- and that second impression is the one that lasts when the music's over. Angeli's creativity overflows. He manages to squeeze in a few impressive guitar tracks ("Ritagli di Tempo": magnificent), but truly shines here as a composer and leader. The instrumentation includes a string quartet, harp (Federica Somigli), keyboards, accordion (Roberto Secchi), a horn section, and percussion (including drummer Mirko Sabatini). Folk singer Margareth Kammerer guests on "La Mulina da Pepa"; Banda Roncati is the street band in "Bando," and the two last pieces (the coda). Even if you don't understand Italian (the booklet includes an English translation of the lyrics, but it is approximate, at best), you will be sucked inside Angeli's highly colored, fast moving universe. The scope of the undertaking commands respect, the wildly entertaining results deserve cheers. A soundtrack? Nita is actually a whole film without images.

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