Recommended: Valentina Fortunati Trio – “Tatogamono”


Valentina Fortunati - "Tatogamono"I’m enjoying the lovely new recording by the Valentina Fortunati TrioTatogamono keeps to a relaxed demeanor, a lazy Sunday attitude that is happy sitting in the shade and watching the world go by.  The trio is comprised of Fortunati’s steel-stringed acoustic guitar, the saxophones of Sigi Beare, and Matteo Scarpettini on marimba.  There’s a bit of Mediterranean jazz influence evident on some of the tunes, but just a bit, as if peeking out from under the covers, but it situates this album as something that might get released on the Italian label, Dodicilune.

Opening track “Dusan Lullaby” immediately presents the album’s game plan… pretty, unfussy melodies that can carry a tune all by themselves.  The rhythmic dynamic between strings, marimba and sax create seams within the songs to foster both nuance and diversity, while also providing an avenue for contrast with the simple melodies.  This effect is further enhanced by the addition of tabla, gusli (a Russian derivative of the Greek lyre) and various other percussion instruments.

And it’s not all just laid-back tunes.  “Sole I” gets a little heated.  The tempo scoots along at a brisk pace and flute skips along its surface.  Second part “Sole II” returns to a life in the slow lane, though sax and guitar are more expressive with the extra time they have at their disposal.  Similarly, sax takes the lead on “Equivoci,” and the music is no less languorous as a result of a bigger sound out front.

A nice easy-to-like recording, good for those times when you require a strong dose of calming music that also makes subtle, cerebral connections to engage the brain a bit.

Your album personnel:  Valentina Fortunati (acoustic guitar), Sigi Beare (alto & tenor saxes, flute, gusli), and Matteo Scarpettini (marimba, tabla, percussion).

The album is Self-Produced.

Jazz from the Livorno, Italy scene.

Available at:  eMusic | CDBaby | Amazon MP3