Filippo Gambetta

Pria Goaea

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The cover speaks volumes about this record, showing Filippo Gambetta sitting on a sunny quayside, playing his melodeon. The entire album in suffused in Genoese sunlight, as relaxed as a glorious Italian vacation, evoking everything about the place, from the spoken introduction of "Da Maria" (an homage to -- what else? -- a trattoria) to "Corbù," with its impressions of the center of Genoa on a Friday night. While languorous in mood, it's also a very adventurous disc, bringing in colors from unusual instruments like bassoon and clarinet to work against Gambetta's basic acoustic trio (guitar, bass, and his own melodeons) with some subtle touches of electric piano and electric violin from the excellent Oliver Schroer on "Slatnar," who plays with delightful subtlety. Joyful as the record is, it's does not reveal everything on the first play. The more you experience it, the more there is to hear -- the dialogues between instruments, the delicate arrangements, and plenty of sophisticated playing. If you can't afford to visit Italy, this is definitely the next best thing.

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