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Fellini Jazz

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Audio CD, October 26, 2004
$11.99 $11.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 26, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Camjazz
  • ASIN: B000654YGU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Vitelloni
2. Il Bidone
3. La Citta Delle Donne
4. Amarcord
5. Cabiria's Dream
6. La Dolce Vita
7. La Strada
8. Le Notti Di Cabiria
9. Fellini's Waltz
10. Bonus Track 1
11. Bonus Track 2

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on November 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This spectacular disc illustrates the power of jazz to enrich and transform almost any musical context or genre, here Italian film music, specifically, the (mainly Nina Rota) songs that graced some of renowned director Federico Feline's greatest movies. Deeply rooted in the Italian canzone tradition, this music bears, perhaps, a similar relation to Neapolitan culture as Tin Pan Alley bears to American culture. Moreover, it readily lends itself to a similar process of unfolding and expansion through jazz improvisation, although its antecedents are quite dissimilar from those of its American counterpart.

Deeply linked to the French chanson and the Spanish cancion, the Italian canzone has roots both in local folk musics and arias from light opera, as well as a sprinkling of Southern European jazz and pop music. Typically, canzoni have gorgeous melodies, the tune always taking prominence over the lyrics. Often, this music is specifically composed to evoke well-known aspects either of Italian art, architecture, culture, or geography. Thus it has its own particular flavor, one consciously designed and intended to bring to mind the life and natural beauty of this remarkable country. To the listener used to its American jazz counterparts, it may sound "too pretty"; I freely admit that was my initial and continued response. It took about five or six listenings for me to totally track with the sensibility, but once I did, I was absolutely on board.

The challenge to jazz artists recording an album of canzoni is to retain the inherent beauty of the song form while still imbuing it with sufficient rigor, imagination, and insight to prevent a slip into sentimentalism. Leader and pianist Enrico Pieranunzi manages this task with unfailing taste, wit, and ingenuity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By jassman on May 10, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Too pretty?" "Could have been better?" "For fans of Fellini?" "I don't like Nino Rota?" Okay, let's pick these off one by one. (1.) Too pretty? Too beautiful perhaps for delicate ears? Nah, you can handle it! Next! (2.) Could have been better? Okay, once again I going to emphasize the lineup here. Kenny Wheeler, Chris Potter, Enrico Pieranunzi, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. There is NO way this group could sound bad if they tried. ALL play at the top of their level. Paul Motian played like Paul Motian. Let's move on. (3) For Fans of Fellini? Well, kind of, but probably more accurate to say that if a jazz take on Nino Rota's themes for various Fellini movies sounds intriguing to you, go for it! (4) I don't like Nino Rota. Actually, I just threw that one in for a cheap laugh, no one really said it in any of the reviews. I think. This release, along with Tommaso/Rava Quartet's "La dolce Vita" and Kenny Wheeler's "What Now" represent a triple threat of the best in modern jazz from CamJazz. 8 1/2 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By VeryBadChessPlayer on April 7, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is not by any means the first time an Italian jazz musician has taken on the glorious music from Fellin's films. There is something about this music, especially Nino Rota's, that lends itself to jazz interpretation -- hardly surprising, since Rota and the others loved and were deeply influenced by jazz -- and players as brilliant as Enrico Rava have interpreted it beautifully, with the freedom and lyricism it deserves. But in my opinion, none of them have achieved the perfect synthesis of music and musicians that this recording does. The album that comes closest, for me at least, is "La Dolce Vita," by the Tommaso-Rava Quartet, but that recording, great as it is, is of music from a broader range of Italian films, not just Fellini's.

So. What makes this particular recording so great? Certainly Enrico Pieranunzi, who I believe actually played in the studio orchestras that supplied the scores for some of Fellini's later films, has an extraordinary feeling for this music. His playing is impeccable, as always, with a sort of sardonic bruised romanticism that is exactly right for this material. But I suspect that, paradoxically, this intensely Italian album would not have been nearly as great without the other players, none of whom are Italian. The Canadian-born Briton Kenny Wheeler's trumpet playing is probably the standout here, but the rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Paul Motian is stellar, too. They have always seemed an odd pairing to me -- Haden is rock-solid, while Motian is, as Pieranunzi says in the album's liner notes, a "sideways" dummer, more interested in adding tone and texture than in keeping anything like a conventional beat -- but their work together, here as elsewhere, is "perfectly imperfect.
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