As you know, I am not a fan of vocals in jazz, but once in a while a record pops up that proves me wrong. This is an example in case (and a strong one), with Cristiano Calcagnile on drums and percussion, and Monica Demuru on voice, and occasionally also mouth harmonica and glockenspiel. The duo goes deep, very deep, intense in the interaction, physically giving themselves fully, but their reach is wide too: from childlike singing to avant-garde grotesque, with poetry, folk, world and everything in between. Knowing my aversion of the genre, I can tell you that it is absolutely stunning at times, with the following highlights : "Nanneddu Meu", a powerful and highly rhythmic dialogue, "La Porta, Marnie!", a serene and meditative breeze, "Mangia La Tua Paura", a children's song evolving into nightmare and back, "Sa Calarina E Mosche Sugli Occhi", an almost classical piece turning into avant-garde and farm animals sounds, a kind of reverse evolution. The pieces are interspersed with short fun melodies. You could argue that all the different angles of attack diminish the album's coherence, you could also argue that the music reflects life itself, in all its contradictory approaches, full of drama and opposing sentiments.
The album comes with art work of the same high level, little cards with the Italian poetry or lyrics. Knowledge of the language may help to fully appreciate the performance, but it's not a necessity to enjoy it.
A must for fans of the genre. Recommended to everyone else.
You can buy and download the music and artwork here for just 6€.