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(49:16, Moonjune Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Aria 2:09 2. Biocosmopolitan 3:36 3. Concrete Clima 4:26 4. The Discordia 3:42 5. Kerouac in New York City 3:13 6. Difficult to Fly without Whisky 3:26 7. Dandy Dog 2:01 8. Danny Is a Man Now 1:42 9. Biocosmo 3:39 10. Lovecity 2:47 11. Springstorm 3:21 12. The Miss Kiss 2:57 13. My Barry Lindon 1:28 14. Closin' Theme 2:32 15. Crosstown Traffic 4:03 16. Biococosmo English Version 4:14 SOLO PILOT: Boris Savoldelli – vocals; piano; effects With: Paolo Fresu – trumpet, flugelhorn Jimmy Haslip – bass
Prolusion. Italian vocalist and songwriter Boris SAVOLDELLI has been recording music since the late 80's, and made his solo debut back in 2007 with "Insanology". Then he has signed to the US label Moonjune Records, where he issued the collaborative effort "Protoplasmic" with Elliott Sharp in 2009 and then in 2011 "Biocosmopolitian", his second standalone solo production.
Analysis. A lot can be said about this most recent production courtesy of Savoldelli and Moonjune Records, but one fact should be established right away. This is not an album that contains progressive rock, nor does it explore any of the styles related to this universe. If you stretch definitions you might place this disc inside the jazz universe somewhere, but first and foremost this is a vocals-based album. Almost purebred a capella in fact, with a few select instrument appearances and the use of sampled sounds the sole reasons for the use of the word almost in this description. The vocals are the key ingredient however. Layered, overdubbed and otherwise treated in the studio so that Savoldelli gets to perform as a choir, vocal group, lead vocalist(s) and percussionist. Mostly in an upbeat, positive and vibrant manner, more often than not this is good mood music that will put a smile on your face, made with, at times, a warm and nice sense of humor, like on the Closing Theme – a performance that consists of layered non-verbal backing vocals underscoring someone reading the album credits. The end result is, surprisingly enough, rather entertaining. Otherwise we're treated to a fine display of vocal talents. Savoldelli is able to conjure up a number of vocal effects that come to good use throughout, he crafts sophisticated layered vocal lines on Dandy Dog, a rough vocal delivery reminding me of good old Satchmo on Danny Is a Man Now, layered non-verbal vocals only on opening piece Aria and accompanied by a single trumpet and backed by bass-oriented vocal effects we have the brilliant ‘Kerouac in New York City’, a perfect companion track to Bobby McFerrin's ‘Don't Worry Be Happy’. There's also room for moods of a more melancholic nature on this disc, with the relatively frail piano ballad Biocosmo a good example of that as well as being something of an exception music wise on this production, but a piece like Difficult to Fly without Whisky also showcases that subtly darker moods have a place and a home in this upbeat vocals-based universe. Savoldelli is a stellar vocal performer, both as a lead and backing vocalist and also as a creator of vocal sounds, the latter probably documented best on the bonus track Crosstown Traffic, otherwise known as a part of Jimi Hendrix musical legacy. And, indeed, it is possible to perform this song with vocals and vocal effects only. The fact that Savoldelli provides all of the vocals sounds himself is perhaps the most impressive aspect for this track as well as for the album as a whole, and it does speak volumes about a versatile voice.
Conclusion. Fans of progressive rock in any of its guises won't find much to interest them on Savoldelli's album "Biocosmopolitan". But of you enjoy vocal music and a capellas, are fascinated by creative and innovative use of vocals in general and enjoy the likes of Bobby McFerrin, this is a disc that merits an inspection, especially if you prefer music of this kind to be upbeat, positive and vibrant first and foremost.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 2, 2012
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