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Napoli Centrale - 'O Sanghe CD (album) cover


Napoli Centrale


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.09 | 4 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Before speaking of the album I want to spend some words about the guitarist and vocalist Enzo Gragnaniello. He is known mainly for his neo-melodic songs and neapolitan traditionals; something I usually can't stand with. But he is also a skilled artist and he's able to cross the genres apart from singing: I have never heard him singing in a language different from neapolitan.

In the recent years he has released various collaborations with James Senese, the mastermind of Napoli Centrale.

This album is labeled "JNC" which means "James' Napoli Centrale". Effectively the original band doesn't exist anymore and after releasing several album as solo artist, Senese wanted to revive the Napoli Centrale brand, but in terms of composition this can be considered another Senese album.

Respect to the music published in the 70s which was more fusion oriented, this is still jazzy but highly contaminated by the influence of Pino Daniele, former bassist of Napoli Centrale, excellent guitarist and vocalist converted to artsy pop.

I have to say that this could even be a Pino Daniele's album, also because Senese played his sax in several albums of Daniele. Also let's consider that Pino Daniele passed away few months before the release of this album and even if he doesn't feature here, his death has surely left something in Senese.

Now, is it good? Luckily it's less pop oriented than Pino Daniele's stuff. No mellow tracks, not much "sugar" and a funky vibe throughout the whole thing. I guess that with a better distribution, the title track could have been a hit.

Let's go track by track...

"Bon Voyage" is a slow song driven by the Rhodes. It reminds to some Pat Metheny of period of "This is not America". The sax, not only in this song, united with the black deep voice of Senese has a bit of Osibisa.

"Addo' Se Va (Where are we going)" is a funky-blues with lightly political lyrics about the religion wars with a progression based on minor and suspended chords.

"Ch' Jurnata (What A Day)" Is more pop oriented in Pino Daniele's style I'd say. I guess the lead vocalist is Gragnaniello. Not a masterpiece and not exactly my pot but it's well played and produced. There's an evident contamination between the already contaminated "mediterranean funky" and the traditional music.

"Il Mondo Cambiera' (The Wrold Will Change)" starts with a sax riff and is again leaning toward pop, but the Rhodes and the percussion make it sound similar to Osibisa. I'm quite sure that the similarities are occasional, but it has something of Sunshine Day.

"Mille Poesie" is pure funky. A single suspended chord, bass, persussion and some rhodes, then a melodic chorus. For fans of 70s Motown.

I have already mentioned the title track: "O' Sanghe (The Blood)", the album's best in my opinion. The lyrics are a sort of prayer against war and violence. It says "Lord, how can I pray you if you don't save me first?"

"Povero Munno (Poor World)" is a sort of follow-up but musically sounds like a Gragnaniello's song. Not my pot, really but I can't say that's a mess. To my ears it's a sort of ska with neo-melodic vocals. Even if it's not my pot, it's that kind of song that resounds in your head for hours after you have listened to it. Maybe because it's a very simple thing.

"Portame Cu'tte (Bring Me With You)" has strange percussion, fretless bass and vocals. Can it be called world music? I'm not sure, but it doesn't sound badly to my prog receptors. Not a masterpiece but interesting.

"Tutto E Niente (All And Nothing)" is opened by sax and ruined by a disco-like sequencer. The musical repetitivity contributes in fixing it in the listener's mind. great job by Gigi De Rienzo.

"Addo' Vaje (Where Do You Go)" closes the album with the most funky track of the album.

Disclaimer: this is not Italian language. Understanding it is not easy for me, even if I can. Consider that I live less than 200 km far from Naples and I really struggle to understand Neapolitan unless they speak slow and sometimes translate some words.

The album? A good one for who likes fusion. I find it pleasant enough, good for car driving.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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