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World Music CD Reviews Europe


By Marty Lipp
Published March 24, 2006

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While Daniel Sepe is known as a leader of Italy’s Neapolitan music scene, this self-chosen retrospective shows that he is no strict traditionalist. Sepe, who has classical and jazz training as a flute and sax player, began his career with the E’ Zezi collective, which grew out of auto factory unions in Naples. E’ Zezi sang overtly political tunes but also made a statement in its reinvention of Italy’s pre-industrial musical traditions. Sepe’s music includes everything from reggae to electronic music, though there are also several beautiful songs in a more straightforward folk style. He even evokes visions of Frank Zappa with the disciplined silliness of “Tarantella Guappa,” while he indulges in some outright silliness with the bouncy “Sammuchella.” Sepe seems to revel in contrasts, following that comic tune with the silky, seductive “Amuri,” then juxtaposing the funereal “Ave de li Puverielli” with the Enya-cum-Police sound of “N’Auciello a Cantari.” While Sepe may be from Naples, this compilation demonstrates that his vision goes both near and far, an artist whose varied palette deserves a wider audience.