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World Music CD Reviews Europe


By Paul-Emile Comeau
Published February 17, 2006

Turututela: Canzoni Popolari

Turututela is an atypical project for Fabrizio Poggi, an Italian singer and harmonica/accordion player who leads a group called Chicken Mambo. In his five previous albums with the group, Poggi played mostly music that had its roots in the American South. Turututela finds him exploring his own roots, the title referring to mythical storytellers who used to wander throughout Lombardy sharing their music and stories. Many of these ancient ballads from Northern Italy were gussied up with Baroque embellishments over the years but Poggi stripped them down to their essence once again, without resorting to an overly traditional approach. His renditions of some of the songs are rather lackluster, although a few of the melodies are quite haunting and the stories touching. "Il Sirio," for example, is a beautiful song that tells the tragic story of the Sirio, a ship from Lombardy that sank in 1906 while bringing immigrants to the U.S. The lyrics are translated into English, with additional brief commentaries.