ENZO AVITABILE & BOTTARI (ITALY)
It was the Neapolitan philosopher Giambattista Vico who once developed a circular theory of existence. We might travel as far as we can from our point of departure, but inevitably, we will always be drawn back to it in the end. Enzo Avitabile grew up listening to jazz and blues in the bars frequented by Yankee GIs stationed in Naples. He fell in love with American soul and R&B and mastered the sax, cementing his knowledge of the mechanics of music at the conservatory of San Pietro a Maiella. He then went on to release a string of successful solo albums, beginning with 'Avitabile' in 1982, and collaborated with a number of American musical heroes and heroines including James Brown, Tina Turner, Richie Havens, Randy Crawford and Afrika Bambaata.
In 1996 he began his return to the roots by writing songs about the poor and marginalised of his native city in a Neapolitan dialect. This fascination for the deeply religious and yet enticingly pagan and carnivalesque folklore of the Campania region eventually lead him to the bottari, or barrel-beaters of Portico di Caserta. In the early middle ages, the able-bodied men of this small village would gather to 'beat' out the demons from their fields and granaries, in order to ensure a good harvest. Their instruments were botti, tini e falci, or barrels, vats and sickles, and the noise they made was truly deafening...imagine a cross between the Drummers of Burundi and Ghostbusters.
As so often happens, this very practical exercise turned into a ritual and eventually into a distinct musical culture, centred around the feast day of San Antonio Abate in January. With devoted skill, Enzo Avitabile managed to blend the beats of the bottari with jazz, blues and the voices of the Brotherhood of the SS Crucifix. Word of this intriguing project soon got out and artists like Khaled, Amina, Hugh Massakela and Manu Dibango all begged Enzo to be allowed to contribute. The resulting CD 'Salvamm O Munno' ('Save The World') became one of the most unexpected and entrancing global music successes of recent years. Avitabile's work has given the tradtion a new lease of life, and made it famous throughout Italy and now the world. One of Naples' most dynamic and adventurous musical sons has come home.
A4WM 2005 Nomination
Wrasse Records profile
an excellent, heavyset and powerful musician. Enzo, sei il migliore
Enzo Avitabile is a sax man, he makes an interesting groove... if you love music you have to listen to it. He is one of the best of NAPOLI CITY !!!
s.m. d t.
the very extraordinary the genius
This is a wonderful CD, rooted in southern Italian traditions yet totally contemporary and cosmopolitan. The lyrics are great, too. Unfortunately if you don't understand Italian/Neapolitan, they'll be lost on you. I wish they'd included English translations for the non-Italians.
I LOVE YOUR SONG!
There is one singer who stand out with his incredible voice. After some research I found out that his name is khaled who's well known world wide with his rai music. From now on I am a converter to some Arabic music