I have nothing against Italians, but I do have something against their national team, and catenaccio, the oppressively boring style of fútbol they play. I don’t like that they tend to rely on nasty, brutish players like Gattuso, and truthfully, I’m still not over what happened in the 2006 final. So, naturally, I watched with barely restrained glee as they lost today to a hard-working Slovakian squad, and were knocked out of the 2010 World Cup. Thank you, Slovakia, for sparing the rest of us! I’m too young to remember the 1982 World Cup, (which Italy won), but I do remember watching the first game of the 1986 tournament, Italy vs. Bulgaria. After Bulgaria scored their goal, I remember my uncle Pepe, who expected great things from Italy, clapped his hands together and said, “Ahora sí vamos a ver lo que es el fútbol!” (Now we’re really going to see what soccer is!) Which we didn’t, of course. The Italians, content with a draw, ran out the clock.
Anyway, this is a children’s record celebrating that 1982 victory, with lyrics and music as insipid as a Serie B match… I’d like to hear a remake after this tournament, hehehehe.
Viva L’italia by Life Featuring Pino Cea
Nana Vasconcelos is a Brazilian percussionist, who in the course of a very long and varied career has played with the likes of Gato Barbieri, Don Cherry, Jean-Luc Ponty and The Talking Heads. In the early 1980s, he collaborated with the Italian accordion player Antonello Salis, and made this record, “Lester”. Just the two of them, but really, they make such a big sound together, it doesn’t feel like anything is missing. This track, “Sogni Caraibici” (Caribbean Dreams) is my favorite. It has the feel of some of that great Balkan gypsy music (I’m thinking of the soundtracks to Emir Kusturica’s films), but with Vasconelos providing an upbeat tempo that makes everything take off. There are spots where his percussion sounds almost like a double bass. We’ve been featuring some great accordion playing at La Pelanga recently, and Salis is certainly a virtuoso in his own right, but the conversation between the two of them is what makes this track (and this album) special. Hope you enjoy.
Sogni Cariabici by Nana Vasconcelos/Antonello Solis
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