12 July 2009

Putumayo Presents Ital-ish

various artists: Italia (Putumayo)

The folks at Putumayo have been making some curious choices of late. A couple months ago there was the new India compilation. Now this Italian collection that begins with the distinctive sound of ... the berimbau? Wha...?
Putumayo Presents Italia - on SoundRoots.org
Okay, a look at the back of the CD reveals that this is the music of "today's Italian singer-songwriters [who] combine the spirit of la dolce vita with a contemporary flair." A global contemporary flair that may explain the Brazilian influence on Simone Lo Porto's "Il Girasole" and the tango taste of "Alessandro Pitoni's "Colpo di Coda." Also the gypsy swing feel of "Gina" by Lu Colombo & Maurizio Geri Swingtet and the retro jazz of Canada-based Marco Calliari's "L'Americano."

The album definitely has the usual accessible, friendly Putumayo vibe and I'm intrigued by some of the artists it has introduced me to. It's just that calling this collection Italia is like putting together an album with Jonathan Coulton, Tom Waites, Laura Love, and Jonathan Richman, and calling it Americana. Weak glue to hold together some even this strong music.

More Italia:
buy CD
Putumayo website
Alessandro Pitoni on youtube

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