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The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

Nun te Vuta New­poli Ro­tary Records

Ital­ian em­i­gra­tion past and present — the in­spi­ra­tion be­hind New­poli’s fourth al­bum — is a theme the octet is em­i­nently well qual­i­fied to tackle. Nun te Vuta adds a hand­ful of self-com­po­si­tions on the sub­ject to the pre­vi­ously all-tra­di­tional reper­toire of a band that was specif­i­cally formed, more than a decade ago, by home­sick ex­pa­tri­ate stu­dents at Bos­ton’s famed Berklee Col­lege of Mu­sic to per­form folk songs from south­ern Italy. The verses of the open­ing ti­tle track, which trans­lates as ”Don’t Look Back”, enun­ci­ate in Neapoli­tan the sad­ness of leav­ing home, while a con­trast­ingly en­er­getic cho­rus em­pha­sises the sense of fu­ture hopes en­gen­dered by liv­ing in a new coun­try. Tra­di­tional mu­sic still pro­vides New­poli’s heart­beat, the new and old blend­ing like a well-made pizza.

Tam­bourines, tam­bu­rello and other Ital­ian per­cus­sion in­stru­ments pro­pel fren­zied pizzica 12/8 and 6/8 dance time taran­tel­las from the band’s Basil­i­cata and Puglia home­lands that date back to the 15th cen­tury. An in­fec­tious tune writ­ten by New­poli’s ac­cor­dion­ist — a key player in any Ital­ian folk band — is among the stand­out in­stru­men­tals. Else­where, the band’s crys­talline-voiced twin fe­male lead singers take the ear, backed by a com­bi­na­tion of ex­pertly played string and wind in­stru­men­ta­tion that in­cludes man­dola, vi­o­lin, oca­rina and zam­pona. Ara­bic oud and doum­bek drum adorn sev­eral songs, be­tray­ing in­flu­ences from other parts of the Mediter­ranean.

New­poli might ex­er­cise a more re­strained, Re­nais­sance-in­flected ap­proach than com­pa­ra­ble out­fits, but their mu­sic ex­udes sub­tlety and depth as well as ex­cite­ment.

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