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26 Aug 2016

Napoli Centrale “Napoli Centrale” 1975 + "Mattanza" 1976 + Qualcosa Ca Nu' Mmore" 1978 Italy Jazz Rock





































Napoli Centrale “Napoli Centrale” 1975

Napoli Centrale ‎  "Mattanza"  1976

Napoli Centrale ‎"Qualcosa Ca Nu' Mmore" 1978

full three albums
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Napoli Centrale 1975 review..

Napoli Centrale were formed in Naples in 1974 on the initiative of James Senese (sax, vocals) and Franco Del Prete (drums) after their experience in another band called the Showmen 2. They joined forces with American keyboardist Mark Harris and British bassist Tony Walmsley and in 1975 released an eponymous debut album blending in an original way Mediterranean roots and jazz rock. James Senese’s father was an American soldier who had been working in the base of Naples and his mother was a Neapolitan girl, perhaps that’s why the fusion between Afro-American music and Neapolitan folklore sounds so natural and authentic in the band’s output. Franco Del Prete committed lyrics in Neapolitan dialect add a touch of colour contributing to express what’s an almost a tribal rage. They perfectly fit the music composed by James Senese where you can find influences ranging from Weather Report and Miles Davis to Osanna. 

The opener “Campagna” (Countryside) begins softly with a short intro featuring shy flutes notes… Then the rhythm section starts pulsing while vocals describe in a caustic way how “beautiful” is the countryside. Lyrics depicts the miserable life of the farm labourers, exploited by their greedy employers… “Countryside / How beautiful is the country… But it is more beautiful for the landlord!”. The rhythm is full of energy and James Senese’s draws fiery sax passages under a midday sun. This track was released also as a single and was quite successful in Italy. An absolutely unexpected result for such kind of song! 

“‘A gente 'e Bucciano” (The people from Bucciano) is a long track featuring jazz and funky influences and obstinate drum patterns. Bucciano is a village in the province of Caserta and the song is about the workers that had to emigrate from the countryside of South Italy to the industrial cities of the North. “Hunger is stronger than the love for the countryside… And now the people of Bucciano live in the North and work in the factories / Where they throw away blood and health…Why? Why? Why?”. Well, the answer is rather venomous and caustic… “Because the Pope is not the King!”. 

The instrumental “Pensione Floridiana” (Guest-house Floridiana) is the shortest track on the album. It’s more relaxed, almost dreamy. It leads to evocative “Viecchie, mugliere, muorte e criaturi” (Old women, wives, dead and little children), another excellent long track dealing with the issue of emigration. Music and lyrics depicts a village where all the men are gone to work elsewhere, far away. What’s left is a desolated place where you can’t find no one but old women, wives, dead, little children, crippled men or skinny and hungry dogs. The atmosphere is dark and the rhythm almost hypnotic but the result is intense and dramatic. The instrumental “Vico Primo Parise n. 8” is lighter. It features a powerful jazz rock veined of funky where keyboards and sax perfectly interact with the rhythm section. Vocals here are used as an instrument adding touches of colour all along the way. According to some sources, the title is the address of the house where Napoli Centrale’s leader James Senese was born, in the district of Miano in Naples . 

The last track “'O lupo s'ha mangiato 'a pecurella” (The wolf has eaten the little sheep) features a strong folkloric flavour. It seems to have been conceived as the soundtrack of a film. It begins softly, you have to shut your eyes and try to guess what’s going on… Narrow streets, shadows moving along the walls… Then you can hear someone who is laughing, some other sarcastically comments that the wolf has eaten the little sheep… Many voices of men and women, the sounds of a market… “Don’t worry / Take it easy and sleep in peace…”. 

This album has been extremely influential on the music scene of Naples and should be considered as essential in an Italianprog collection. It is usually considered the cornerstone of a whole new music subgenre very popular during the eighties and called “Neapolitan Power”, featuring artists like Pino Daniele, Tullio De Piscopo, Enzo Avitabile and others. A kind of world music mixing blues and Mediterranean roots…by Prog archives… 

Drummer Franco Del Prete and sax player James Senese both from Napoli, Italy had played together in a band previous to this playing Pop music. They decided to go in a completely different direction (Jazz) in 1975 adding Americam keyboardist Mike Harris and British bass player Toni Walmsley. I think WEATHER REPORT would be the closest reference but there is a definite Italian flavour here. I have to thank Todd for the recommendation.This took longer to get into then I thought it would, but now i’m hooked big time. I can just imagine sitting in a bar in Napoli, Italy watching these guys play in the mid seventies with Todd, Jim and Thomas. The place would be hazy with smoke and the smell of spilled beer as NAPOLI CENTRALE offer up there own special blend of fun, experimental and mind blowing Jazz. It would have been too much fun. 

“Campagna” was actually a minor hit for the band in their home country of Italy. It’s led by electric piano and sax early (some flute too) while the drumming is very intricate and presice. Spoken words a minute in and then the tempo picks up. Vocals come in as piano, drums and sax stand out. We’re grooving now, just jamming away. The instrumental work is fantastic ! “A Gente E Bucciano” opens with sax but settles quickly and i’m thinking WEATHER REPORT. Some atmosphere in this one. Vocals start to lead the way then piano, drums and bass support. Sax comes in when the vocals stop. Love the piano / drum section that follows. Sax is back ! This is great ! Vocals return late. Great tune. “Pensione Floridiana” is led by smooth sax, prominant bass and electric piano. The drums are light until about 2 minutes in when they dominate trading off with the sax. 

“Viecchie, Mugliere, Muorte E Criaturi” has this cool intro that’s a little dissonant then it becomes catchy with sax and vocals sharing the spotlight. This is my favourite track on here. Drums and piano lead 2 ½ minutes in then the sax comes in ripping it up then the vocalist takes a turn.10 minutes of hypnotic bliss. Thomas rushes up to the bar for another round (he speaks Italian). “Vico Primo Parise N.8” has an excellent uptempo soundscape of sax, drums, bass and e-piano. So much going on with all these intricate sounds coming and going and intertwining. Some crazy sax and vocals late. “O Lupo S'ha Mangiato 'a Pecurella” is laid back with outbursts of sax and electric piano ealy. It turns a little melancholic as the sax takes a more prominant role. The last section sounds like a party with laughing and yelling. Or is that just Todd and Jim. No it’s actually the band having too much fun. It does end with music though. I’m just sad it ends…. by Prog archives…


Songs / Tracks Listing 

1. Campagna 
2. Vico primo Parise n.8

 "Mattanza"  1976  review

One year after the exploits of their first, self-titled album, the Napoli Centrale return with a new job. This time Senese and Del Prete, only holders of the name, replacing rimaneggiano training, keyboards, Mark Harris with Pippo Guarnera and engaging after several auditions with various musicians, including a young Pino Daniele and Kelvin Bullen on bass. With a nearly perfect and polished production to the smallest detail, from the cover to the recording, made by the famous Bobby Solo, the Neapolitan group presents new flagship products, some have been run in the continuous and numerous live around the boot. From the title, Matanzas, you understand the content of the disc, this time no prisoners. As it represents the slaughter of tuna, and now stuck with no way out, by the traps, the same James Senese is meant to represent the historical period in which he lived. Slaughter of part of the defenseless population crushed by the weight of power, slaughter of ideas, of social classes, values. Then react? And if so, how? Tenor saxophonist James here screams a lot more than it did in the previous work, communicating with the battery of Franco Del Prete, present to a greater extent than in the past and, thanks to the two new members, their work has a completely new presence . 

The disc opens as it closed the previous: Simme Simme comings and Jutes. shouting from the Pozzuoli fish market (the more you feel the same Senese yell "anchovies anchovies"), screams, guffaws that will become a country band, from the Holy procession on Sunday morning. Strong work to dishes Del Prete, here accompanied by Agostino Marangolo (ex-Goblin) on drums. Immediately after this presentation fades working in a genre most appropriate to the group, prog atmospheres, rock, fusion with the usual texts to spit venom from a James more pissed than ever. Below follows A 'Suttana instrumental driven by a bass line groovosa Bullen that serves as a rug at the virtuosity of the entire band. Towards the end James is produced in a scat vocal solo worthy of the great jazz men of the past. And under 'N Cup is a very good exercise jazz rock very similar to certain works of the early Weather Report, quado these were still far from the craziness of Jaco Pastorius, thus fusion but with references even to prog. It follows the sad 'O My Grandfather built on a tour of acoustic guitar. A Senese moved to tears she tells of the last words of the dying grandfather. Within minutes, great emotion. 

The disc masterpiece Mixed Blood. Bass and drums overflowing, a rhodes effected almost psychedelic theme played by multiple saxophones over etched. Changes of time, of atmospheres, of anger. After the mixed blood is their accounts. James plays thinking of John Coltrane, America far, in Harlem and his black people. As well as Bullen, also an emigrant from distant islands. Maybe I'm asking Capenno Senese. But what? His sax here is thoughtful, meditating on phrases to play, approaches the jazz of A Love Supreme of his mentor Coltrane, but it essentially shifts immediately. In any case, the protagonist of the song is his instrument, his tenor saxophone. Who Makes Art And About S'Accatta is the last track on the disc. The above discussion is reiterated: the lyrics are violent as already happened, without hope. The bass funk groove fits perfectly with the progressive trend "old-school" of the battery and the Fender piano. Overall a great disc, nearly a volume II compared to their previous work though to a lesser pitch than their third, and final work of the seventies. But not to forget ... indeed!...

 Tracklist: 

Simme Iute E Simme Venute 
Sotto A’ Suttana 
Sotto E ‘N Coppa 
‘O Nonno Mio 
Sangue Misto 
Forse Sto Capenno 
Chi Fa L’Arte E Chi S’Accatta
 Qualcosa Ca Nu' Mmore 1978  review

The third and final chapter, before the long pause that will last until 1992, weblog Napoli Centrale. Abandoned is the naive mood of the first self-titled work is excessive perfectionism of the second Slaughter, Senese and Del Prete face full of doubt and uncertainty on the third album. Rodati by constant touring, the group had to decide whether to abandon the progressive temptations of the first period, continue with the fusion speech sketched in the second or groped new roads, finance destroy the project. Remodeled again the formation, with the entry of new bass player Ngtù Mabula (probably a young Pino Daniele incognito), are finally born musical ideas without abandoning the progressive, the unitary project of Sienese duo / Del Prete is a trip purifying water and traditions that are reflected in the Mediterranean, out of the cage of the growing Italian pop (now in Italian society loomed the ebb and hedonistic '80s were lurking). Unfortunately the disc now comes when the group no longer exists. Shortly Senese follow Pino Daniele in his solo career, becoming in turn one of the protagonists of the Neapolitan Power strand, and then also give birth to three good jazz rock albums under his own name. 

Something Ca Nu'mmore presents a very special cover: a frame of a mirror without the glass. Thus a seemingly useless object, devoid of all function but actually full of meaning. We said the group was now finished, and the dynamic duo knew perfectly. What better time to look in a mirror broke trying the future? The disc opens with O Enemy Mine Dure percussion mark a skew time, broken, on which stand the harsh verses Senese, a declaration of war against those who betrayed him. The phrase "See it? I was good "(we translate from Naples) is repeated several times confirming betrayal" ... convincesti me and my meat was born Christ "to the mocking conclusion" ... I was good ... but now I broke my dick ". After this battery-voice solo part of the song with a very violent rhythmic mainly thanks to Mitch Mitchell overseas Franco Del Prete. Napoli called Harlem, Miano (district of origin of the two) calls the Bronx. Eight minutes without breathing. O Mirror follows Addo Me Guardo instrumental with a nice bass line (bravo Ngtù ... or pine?) And Neapolitan influences that stand out from the main theme. You may remember the old Board Floridiana the first, fantastic album. The title track Something Ca Nu'mmore is the third track. A melancholy piano ago by carpet at the harsh saxophones James, with the battery that takes on a martial time bringing the song to its natural conclusion. Another great instrumental. 

Enters the masterpiece of the disc A Music Mia What R'e. James talks to himself between his screams and his saxophone tortured, devastated. It is a declaration of love for that music as much sought after, both being chased, "... where I look in the mirror", half blood as its author. Coltrane where are you? James is calling you! A Si Tu Music is an instrumental umpteenth. Yet another but always high class. Closes the album Nun Na Cow Song: Protest song like the old campaign. The Napoli Centrale are not cows that lower the head, in front of the slaughterhouse, ready to die, and they have proved it. In this song the sax Senese, not helped by the excellent rhythm section, rapping, speak, reason, knowing that an era has ended. Goodbye 70's, welcome sequined 80s. 

Small note: the disk is virtually impossible to find in the CD holder. Was reprinted around the mid-90s by Ricordi and has since out of print. Needless to say, it is in the range of the used, even if they are very rare, but in some disk fair it is located. Easier to find is the vinyl, which occasionally turns up on ebay. the price should not exceed 40 €.''.......
 Tracklist: 

Simme Iute E Simme Venute 
Sotto A’ Suttana 
Sotto E ‘N Coppa 
‘O Nonno Mio 
Sangue Misto 
Forse Sto Capenno 
Chi Fa L’Arte E Chi S’Accatta

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