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Traversata: Italian Music in America Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 6, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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With each recent release, mandolin maestro David Grisman explores a hidden corner of the music world's dusty attic. On Traversata, he showcases the seldom-heard music of early 20th-century Italian immigrants in America. It's an eclectic mix of jazz tunes, folk ballads, opera aria transcriptions, serenades, and dance tunes. With fellow mandolin player Carlo Aonzo and bluegrass guitarist Beppe Gambetta (here playing a custom-made 14-string harp guitar), Grisman displays typically faultless technique as he performs instrumentals from forgotten Italian composers Pasquale Taraffo, Attilio Margutti, and Raffaele Calace, along with more familiar tunes from jazz pioneers Nick Lucas and Eddie Lang. Nino Rota's "The Godfather Waltz" earns its best performance yet, and two compositions by Rudy Cipolla, the late San Francisco-based music pioneer who Grisman has long championed, are included. The Italian influence varies from cut to cut, but these tunes are all intensely lyrical and full of gorgeous melodies and great playing; it's easily one of Grisman's most poignant projects to date. This Dawg may continue to wander the globe for new tunes, but he's certainly not lost. --Jason Verlinde

1. Costumi Siciliani
2. Oh, Mio Babbino Caro
3. Idillio Primaverile
4. Manzanillo
5. L'Onda
6. Tarantella Op. 18
7. Intermezzo
8. Pickin' The Guitar
9. Violinata
10. Study For Two Mandolins
11. Valtzer Fantastico
12. The Godfather Waltz
13. Mazurka VI Op. 141
14. April Kisses

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Acoustic Disc
  • ASIN: B00005R60L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,652 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pharoah S. Wail VINE VOICE on November 26, 2001
Format: Audio CD
While I can't claim to be any sort of an expert on Italian music, I must say that this is a fantastic cd. Being a fan of old movies, there are quite a few times while listening to this cd that all I can picture in my head is Sophia Loren circa 1958 strolling along a beach. Yeah it's THAT good.

Aside from Puccini, Cipolla, Eddie Lang, and the Godfather music, I wasn't really familiar with any of this music or its composers but now I wonder why this music has seemingly been forgotten. It's really gorgeous music and I am extremely grateful to David Grisman for "introducing" me not only to these Italian styles, but also to the two specific Italian musicians on this cd, Carlo Aonzo (mandolin) and Beppe Gambetta (14-string harp-guitar). The harp-guitar is usually in a supporting role here so it's never the lead instrument but it has wondeful, rich tone. I was suprised at times that it is a wooden guitar because it has a low-end more reminiscent of a National.

Carlo is the leader here, from playing to arranging. He is "the mandolin find" of the year for me this year, a truly great player. I initially had my doubts as to whether these guys would sound good next to Grisman but it turns out that they steal the show. Carlo also plays one of the single best moments of the cd when he takes a turn on mandocello for track #4 (Manzanillo).

Acoustic Disc has released many great cd's over the last decade and this is one of the best. The only other "ethnic" cd Grisman has released that can compare to this one is the masterpiece, Songs Of Our Fathers, but this one has better, richer sound than does that one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As for Jason Verlinde's review: Please be aware that Carlo Aonzo is the principal mandolinist on this recording. He is a virtuoso player in the classical repertoire and on many of the cuts he is the sole player. David Grisman should be praised foremost for issuing this CD and certainly for his playing, but he plays, for the most part a secondary role on most of the cuts. In fact in his intro he says: "Thank you, Carlo and Beppe, for allowing me to enter this beautiful world and for being such wonderful tour guides."
In any case, this is certainly one of the finest comtemporary issues of this older style of Italian mandolin music. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Track listings :

1. Costumi Siciliani (Sicilian Customs) Giovanni Gioviale,

2. Oh, Mio Babbino Caro (Oh, My Dear Daddy, from Gianni Schicchi),

3. Idillio Primaverile (Idyll of Springtime) Giovanni Gioviale,

4. Manzanillo Valentine Abt,

5. L'Onda (The Wave) Pasquale Taraffo,

6. Tarantella Op. 18 Raffaele Calace,

7. Intermezzo (from Cavalleria, Rusticana) Pietro Mascagni,

8. Pickin' the Guitar (Pizzicando la Chitarra) Nick Lucas (Dominic Lucanese),

9. Violinata (Violin Serenade) Attilio Margutti,

10. Duo for Two Mandolins (Studio per Due Mandolini) Rudy Cipolla,

11. Valtzer Fantastico (Wonder Waltz) Enrico Marucelli,

12. The Godfather Waltz (Il Valzer del Padrino, from The Godfather) Nino Rota,

13. Mazurka VI Op. 141 Raffaele Calace,

14. Serenata "a Ballo" Traditional,

15. April Kisses (Baci d'Aprile) Eddie Lang (Salvatore Massaro).
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By A Customer on February 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just got home from hearing Beppe Gambetta at a live concert in Princeton. He is a phenomenal guitarist - the best! I picked up two of his CDs - Traversata and his new CD, Blu di Genova. Both are excellent. While he is accompanied on these CDs, in the live concert he was playing solo. He was even more outstanding playing alone. Should you hear of him playing in your area, don't miss it! It will be a truly memorable musical evening. His personality is also as lively, humorous, and wonderful as his musicianship.
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By "tarantella" on March 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The music transports me back to the time of my anscestors' arrival in this country from Sicily. The sweetness and melancholy is abundant and the music fills my heart with longing. Traversata makes me feel like I am truly "crossing the ocean" to return to my past. It pulls at your heartstrings. I love it and recommend it highly.
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