Maria Mazzotta : Amoreamaro Review, an Italian Songbird
Maria Mazzotta is one of the most important voices of the music scene in the Apulia region of Italy and, more generally, of world music. Mazzotta is meticulous with her research into vocal characteristics of the area, which highly differentiate the various cultures found within it. Her ability to move naturally and seamlessly from the sounds of Southern Italy to the inflections of Balkan music, while still capturing the stories of cultures of the songs interpreted is impressive. Amoreamaro is Mazzotta’s latest album. Amoreamaro (Bitter Love) is an intense and passionate reflection on the various faces of love from a female point of view. The songs explore the multiple faces of love: from the most significant love to the most desperate and very tender one, and from the type that becomes unhealthy to the one that is possessive and abusive.
The great Italian song like “Lu pisci Spada” (“The Swordfish”) by Domenico Modugno begins with Mazzotta’s warm voice and gentile vibrato singing the melody. Her embellishments of the theme are tasteful and authentic. She sings a dramatic phrase in her upper register, climaxing in a growling held note that demonstrates power and control as a vocalist while conveying heartfelt emotion. Accordionist Bruno Galeone is supportive in his playing and matches Mazzotta’s intensity and emotionalisms.
The title track, “Amoreamanro,” features Andrea Presa on didgeridoo and the Iranian Bijan Chemirani on ethnic drums and percussions. The Madagascan Galeone is on accordion as Mazzotta leads the way with her captivating vocal style. Straining her voice to get every ounce of emotion out of the melody, this is one of the several highlights of the date. The building energy to the climax is very emotive.
The ten tracks on Amoreamaro finds Mazzotta’s singing with brilliant technical facility and a balance of intimate and dramatic flair. The various instrumentation of the album is also enjoyable and adds to a rich tapestry of moods and sounds. The traditional songs that are rearranged and enriched with new sounds and words are tasteful and keep the authentic nature of the songs. The originals fit in perfectly and together create the beautiful music that is Amoreamaro.
January 10, 2020