Soleà

Pietro Bonelli Group
Jumping from one style to another, alternating fusions and exploiting the enormous versatility of the instrument, electric and acoustic, seems to be the common denominator of many contemporary jazz musicians. It is certainly the case of Pietro Bonelli, as he demonstrates in his album, Soleà.

Latin Jazz, a pinch of flamenco, small amounts of Santana, a taste of bossa nova. The bossanova atmosphere of Bianco Opaco, a track written by Ezio Salfa, seems to be the territory in which Bonelli is at his best.

The work is enriched by the contributions of the vocalist Barbara Boffelli and the omnipresent Fabrizio Bosso who, as always, is phenomenal.

Bonelli’s music is music that transmits positive energy and really succeeds in evoking a warm atmosphere and cheerful images, as is suggested by the liner notes, as well as the album title. If I had to describe it with a single adjective, it would be “winking”. Maybe a litte too much. (FU) – from JAZZIT.

I have already spoken several times of Pietro Bonelli, an excellent jazz guitarist and active teacher at the Istituto Vittadini. This time I want to talk about his new CD Soleà. Every time I have to review a guitarist’s album I approach the task with the (often justified) fear of being confronted with a display of technique, masked by a series of titles that hide only themes of improvisation.

Luckily, this time, my fears were unfounded.

First of all, (the liner notes, if read carefully, are often exhaustive in content) the disc is credited to Pietro Bonelli Group and not only to the guitarist, and this says a lot about the fact that all members of the group were given equal opportunity of expression and also of composition, seeing as that both Zara and Salfa have written a song apiece and have also co-written some of the tracks with Bonelli.

Highly esteemed musicians accompany Pietro Bonelli on this disc: Mario Zara on the keyboards, Esio Salfa on bass, Giorgio Di Tullio on drums, Luis Casih on percussion, and, as guests, Fabrizio Bosso on the trumpet and Barbara Boffelli on vocals.

Soleà is therefore a choral album, of which not only the title refers to lazy summer days, but most of the atmosphere evoked by various tracks calls to mind the languid indolence of sunny beaches and phantasmagoric sunsets.

If in the electric parts, Bonelli can call to mind the most descriptive Metheny, in the acoustic parts he maintains a distinctive meditteranean flavour.

As I said at the beginning, without any excess of virtuosity, the album’s songs flow nicely and perfectly assuming the descriptive function that (I believe) is the characteristic sought by the artist.

The only two tracks that are “out of register” are The Colour of Your Eyes and Choose Your Place which, while interesting, present an excessive rarefaction that fragments the homogeneous tissue of the disc.

Among the best tracks are Listening To You (which opens the album), Bianco Opaco, Quiet & Passion and Urban Gypsy, which we find in two versions, both fascinating. Do not miss the chance to hear him in concert

Furio Sollazzi

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