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Alberto PizzigoniWelcome to the ninth round of Kato’s Gem. Today we start with “Mildness”, released in 1988, is the latest jazz album by Alberto Pizzigoni, a master, one of the best Italian guitarists ever, who has worked with all the names that count of Italian music and more (Trovajoli, Gianni Ferrio, Gorni Kramer, Gerry Mulligan). A splendid album, born with his trio, with Daliso Cervesato on double bass and Sergio Palmieri on drums for an hour of magical music. Sometimes the guitar takes the form of a rhodes piano and the mood moves between jazz, blues, samba and bossa nova. The sound testament of an artist who behind the scenes has put his hand on fifty years of Italian music.
Joe TexSecond album of the day: Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha”, released in 1972. A classic, one of the most explosive funk bombs of the last century, brought back by Quentin Tarantino, who wanted to insert it in the soundtrack of “Le Iene”. A must have for all soul lovers, between classic numbers and contagious grooves that are much more than just a frame for that musical “Mammut” which is the title track.
Marvin Gaye-Tammi TerrellIn 1968 Motown Records, the second album of the magical couple Marvin Gaye-Tammi Terrell, “You’re all i need” was released. Produced by Johnny Bristol, the work confirms the special relationship that existed between the two artists, capable of completing and exploring each other in an original way. A few months before the recordings, Tammi Terrell passed out on stage in Gaye’s arms, due to a malignant brain tumor, which after a long battle will take her away in March ’70. Marvin Gaye never recovered emotionally from this loss, but from this work on he brought out a new emotion and a live charisma, which will become his trademark. Ah, if you’re wondering, from the title track about 25 years later Mehod Man and Mary J. Blige will bring out one of the most fascinating pieces of the golden age of rap.
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The Roots“Undun” by The Roots, released in 2011. The work is structured as a concept album, built on the life of a boy (Redford Stephens) who grew up in the US ghettos. According to many we are in the presence of the best band of the last twenty years, able to transcend genres like few others and to bring together in their sound Coltrane, electronics, the most classic soul and Led Zeppelin. With a shot that, let’s face it, openly, most rock bands can only dream of. Here in my opinion this is the latest masterpiece of a group, which in the end is authentically Hip Hop, thanks to one of the first 5 rappers in history like Black Thought – who shows off an exceptional writing test – and the genius of Questlove, drummer and producer with incredible talent. Coherent yet different songs for a great musical journey.
Donovan“Open Road” of Donovan. We are in 1970, glam rock begins to take hold and Donovan, who has been one of the main inspirers of this subgenre, adapts and amalgamates it with his style with excellent results. Just think of the initial “Changes”, easy and enthralling rock, beautiful guitar riff and the unmistakable vocality of Donovan, which is also found in songs such as “People Used To”, “Song For John”, “Riki Tiki Tavi” , vaguely hysterical and irresistible, a pressing and sardonic “Poke At The Pope” and the indolent languor of “Clara Clairvoyant”, marked by blues phrasing and a powerful and psychedelic refrain.
Bachi da PietraToday’s latest gem is Bachi Da Pietra’s “Necroid”, released in 2015 for La Tempesta / Tannen. The evolutionary process gives birth to unexpected titles such as “Tarli mai” and even fun and brilliant like “Slayer & amp; The Family Stone “. Succi is amazing in moving from one vocal register to another, moving smoothly between a falsetto and a scream, the guitars grind great, the drumming is nothing short of granite. The new look works, maybe the sound choices are more “already heard” than the malaise that oozed from the first records, decidedly more personal and particular, but it is a necessary transmutation, to avoid repeating itself, and to confirm itself as musically singular protagonists in the panorama independent Italian.
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Frank ZappaWelcome to our seventh appointment of Kato’s Gems. Today we start with Frank Zappa’s “Over Nite Sensation”, released in 1973. Between Free Jazz and Prog, with even xylophones capable of inserting themselves into the compositional plot, we could think of something brainy. Instead here is Zappa perfectly focused on the song form. From “Montana” to “Camarillo Brillo” from “Dirty Love” to “Fifty Fifty”, here is the whole band on the shields, with deadly rehearsals by George Duke and Jean Luke Ponty for a multifaceted and never banal sound.
Clyde McPhatter“Treasure of love” by Clyde McPhatter. This splendid Atlantic edition released in 1980, exclusively for the Japanese market, contains the most important singles recorded by the legendary American singer, first with the Drifters, and then as a soloist. His is an unfortunate and often forgotten story, although Clyde Mc Phatter is considered by experts to be one of the best voices who trod the Rhythm and Blues scenes between the late 1950s and the early 1960s. In fact, at 30 he entered a deep crisis that turned him away from music and made him an alcoholic, ending up crushed by a heart attack at just 39 years old.
The Style Council“Cafe Bleu” by The Style Council In 1984 Paul Weller made a change in his career, producing the debut album of his new project. He hired dizzying musicians for a mix of Jazz, Bossa, Funk and Northern Soul rhythms, even making a detour in rap with the splendid “A Gospel”. A classy album that together with Working Week and the legendary Sade, paved the way for the trend of using jazz in contemporary productions.
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2Pac – Thug LifeWelcome to our now usual Monday appointment: Kato’s Gems # 5. In 1994 2Pac (R.I.P.) put together a group of trusted friends and collaborators (Big Syke, brother Mopreme, Macadoshis and Rated R) and gave birth to “Thug Life Volume 1”, the first and unfortunately only album of this formation. Here is the most conscious 2Pac, the revolutionary who wanted to change things, far from the one who will conquer the world together with Death Row Records. The topics covered are important, with a tone to denounce the difficult living conditions in the ghetto, the atmospheres at times gloomy, very soulful and quite distant from the most popular G Funk, with productions of Easy Mo Bee, Stretch, Johnny J, Big Syke and Warren G. At that point, Pac was already a leading figure in the world of rap and cinema. He had made three major records and starred in such prominent films as Poetic Justice. Big Syke confessed that when he was assassinated in 1996, he already had plans to take advantage of the huge popularity gained with Death Row and release Thug Life Volume 2 for his label, Makaveli Records. My favorite tracks are “Pour out a little liquor” and “How long will they mourn me” produced by Warren G and with an always exceptional Nate Dogg (R.I.P.)
Wes Montgomery – MovinThe second album of the day is Wes Montgomery’s “Movin ‘Along”, released in 1960. This is a fairly hidden gem in the Montgomery catalog, which is accompanied by James Clay on the flute, Victor Feldman on the piano, Sam Jones on the bass and Louis Hayes on the drums. Four standards and two originals for this gem that returns the magic of one of the greatest guitarists in the history of jazz intact.
Gentle Giant – Free HandSometimes discs need a little more listening to be fully understood. With Gentle Giant’s “Free Hand” this exactly was happened to me. The first time he shot on the plate it seemed confusing, almost pretentious. Obviously I didn’t understand anything. Kerry Minnear in 1975 is at the height of his genius and pushes on the accelerator of his perfect musical machine. Time changes, incredible melodies that intertwine progressive rock, jazz, folk and soul & nbsp; in an impeccable way, with medieval echoes and the xylophone to punctuate such beauty. It isn’t surprising that the Banco del Mutuo Soccorso and the Premiata Forneria Marconi considered them masters, and were deeply influenced by them.
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