Words by Ciro Di Rosa
Volcanic material: you’ll lava it
The name of these highly respected Neapolitan musicians derives from the volcano that embodies many of the anxieties of the southern Italian metropolis. They consist of composer and violinist Antonio Fraioli, Antonio Di Ponte on guitar and blues-tinged vocals and Mediterranean frame-drum virtuoso Francesco Paolo Manna. The trio harmonically and rhythmically recast southern Italy’s traditional songs and dances, instilling a contemporary and world-music flair.
Their scope is outlined in the opener, ‘’O Rre Rre’, whose melismatic singing backed by the violin develops in a driving Gargano-style tarantella. The narrative of ‘Catarina’ is given a strong Arabian flavour. Vesevo’s imaginative ideas are showcased on the original track ‘Scioscia Viento’, as it evolves unexpectedly in harmonies and rhythms from the starting continuous bass over declamatory singing, with the electric guitar of guest Riccardo Marconi adding a desert-rock touch. Two numbers from the Salerno area, ‘Muntagna pe Muntagna’ and ‘Figliole’, have a chamber-music disposition, while ‘Tarantamara’ and the trance-inducing ‘Tarantella alla Calabrese’ feature Fraioli’s vigorous violin phrases over great percussion. The classical sensibility of ‘Riturnella’ closes this beguiling piece of work.