Tag Archives: Italy

Paolo Conte – Max


The Best of Paolo Conte

Paolo Conte – The best of Paolo Conte

This week’s track is Max by Paolo Conte. Paolo who? Well I know that Conte is not too well known but I also know that he should be. Wikipedia starts its Paolo Conte entry like this: “Paolo Conte (born January 6, 1937) is an Italian singer, pianist, composer and lawyer notable for his grainy, resonant voice, his colourful and dreamy compositions (evocative of Italian and Mediterranean sounds, as well as of jazz music, South American atmospheres and of French-language singers like Jacques Brel and Georges Brassens) and his wistful, sometimes melancholic lyrics.” That should get you interested, shouldn’t it?

And if you are interested, read the biography on his website. While working as a lawyer he played vibraphone in local jazz bands. He started writing songs, alone and with his brother, and these were recorded by several Italian singers of the day. His own recording career started in 1974 and to date he has recorded 24 albums.

At 74 he is still recording and touring to promote his albums. Oh! and when he is not composing, recording or touring, he paints and sells prints of his works through his website.

Paolo Conte – Max

Elena Ledda – Canticos

Elena Ledda  - Amargura

Elena Ledda – Amargura

I’m back from my Italian holiday. A good time was had by all, though there were no great musical experiences, unless you count the magical sound of the ringing of about 200 bells round the necks of sheep being herded down the valley to be milked. The sheep were being herded by two dogs and two shepherds and, if you took away the four-wheel drive pick-up truck the second shepherd was driving, it could have been a scene from the video “Sonos ‘e memoria” posted last time.

We had a very relaxing time in Italy. We pottered round the streets and alleyways of hilltop villages, we swam in an Apennine lake, our cultural quota was provided by some quite wonderful church paintings and frescos and we enjoyed fabulous food, mostly cooked in our rented cottage as the Italians take dinner at the time I am taking to my bed! I was tempted by one accordion museum and several fossil museums but, unfortunately, my temptation wasn’t shared! Perhaps next time!

So, to try to hold on to the memories of the holiday a little longer, I shall post a track from the only Elena Ledda CD that I own. The track is from Amargura and is a song entitled Canticos. I bought the CD whilst on holiday in Italy a few years ago. It was the only Elena Ledda CD in the shop so I bought it despite the inclusion of a cover version of Knights in White Satin!!!

Elena Ledda – Canticos

Riccardo Tesi & Banditalia – Maggio

Various Artists – The Rough Guide to the Music of Italy

Various Artists – The Rough Guide to the Music of Italy

Siamo tornati dall’Italia! It was great to spend a week in Italy again but, truth to tell it was a “Curate’s Egg” of a holiday. The biggest disappointment was spending two days in my sick bed. I’m not the world’s easiest patient at the best of times but when I have to lie a-bed on my holiday …Oh! and before you ask, no it wasn’t that seafood risotto. I’m blaming being cocooned on board a Ryanair flight with (pick a number between 1 and 300) passengers with a communicable disease!

On to the music and more from Italy this week. When you want to dip your toe in the waters of a new country / style there is nowhere easier to start than the Rough Guide series. I bought the The Rough Guide to the Music of Italy some years ago to get me started in discovering Italian music. And a good CD it is too with tracks from all the usual suspects, Daniele Sepe, Riccardo Tesi, Elena Ledda, Tenores di Bitti etc and many from artists you are not likely to find unless you root around the Internet.

For today’s music I have chosen Riccardo Tesi & Banditalia with Maggio. I could have chosen anything from this CD but have chosen this track as the music is from Tuscany, where we have just been “in vacanza”.

Riccardo Tesi & Banditalia – Maggio

Piccola Bottega Baltazar – Via Del Campo

Piccola Bottega Baltazar – Fabrizio de André– Cover 100%

Piccola Bottega Baltazar – Fabrizio de André– Cover 100%

Hooray, in a couple of days I’m off on my hols! Off to Italy to subject the population of Pisa to my murdering of their language! Still, I will probably not say anything, in my ignorance of their language, more embarrassing than their Prime Minister says in his mother tongue!

So, before I go, here is an Italian tune. Via Del Campo played and sung by Piccola Bottega Baltazar. The song was written by Fabrizio de André, Italy’s best know singer / songwriter, a sort of cross between Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan.

I’m a little confused about the album the track comes from though. I do not own the cd, I bought the album as an mp3 download. (My first and only such album to date. I prefer to buy the physical item so I can hold it , read the sleeve notes, enjoy the cover art etc. I can then rip the cd to mp3 for playing on the computer, mp3 player etc.). On the download site the album is called “Fabrizio de André – Cover 100%” despite the fact that not all the tracks are de Andr&eacute covers. A visit to the Piccola Bottega Baltazar does not list this album in the discography, listing instead “Poco tempo, troppa fame – Omaggio a Fabrizio de André”. This seems to be the same album!

Anyway, whatever it is called, I love this record – it’s the nearest thing in my collection to chanson – note to self must buy some Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, Jake Thackery.

Piccola Bottega Baltazar – Via Del Campo