Reviews that mention Paolo Angeli

February 6, 2018

Paola Angeli

AnNa RER OA10/ALU 25

By Ken Waxman

A combination technician and savant, Paola Angeli is a Sardinian guitar virtuoso, the qualities of which he demonstrates on the 25 selections of this live two-CD set. Cello-size, with an extra bridge, pedal-operated hammers, additional criss-crossed strings plus pick-ups, his guitar is tuned from one-fourth or one-fifth below standard. With strings picked or bowed, the instrument can sound like a six- or 12-string guitar, amplified or acoustic, a balalaika or a double bass. Angeli’s facility is such that it often appears as if two guitarists are playing, feeding lines to one another. He also vocalizes at points, although his Mediterranean-Maghreb falsetto is more like another guitar add-on than a foreground trope. MORE

January 8, 2014

Festival Report

Festival Jazzdor Strasbourg
By Ken Waxman

A mercantile and European Union government centre, Strasbourg is a sophisticated French city with a large university, massive fortifications, picturesque canals and a renowned cathedral. Although La Marseillaise was composed and first sung in Strasbourg it’s also part of Alsace which was ceded to Germany from 1871-1918 and 1940-1944. Overcoming this historical enmity, for the past 11 years Festival Jazzdor has included a series of concerts in the nearby German city of Offenburg.

This year’s festival (November 8 to 22) was no different. One of its highlights was Günter Baby Sommer’s Bopp-Art Percussions in Offenburg’s Reithalle in Kulturforum. Featuring the veteran drummer’s quartet of saxophonist Frank-Paul Schubert, trombonist Gerhard Gschlößle and bassist Antonio Borghini, it matched their fiery blistering improvisations with a three-man Taiko ensemble plus Katharina Hilpert’s ethic and traditional flutes which bridged the two solitudes. Although the white blouses worn by the percussionists made them look like chefs, their massive drums and gongs resonations merely spiced the program with the Sommer four which provided the main meal. The several courses included traditional Saxon marches, slinky set pieces and experimental excursions where the horns injected gospel-like and Dixieland inflections emotions into frenetic line deconstruction. Prominent were tunes such as Like Don” and “Art Goes Japan”, which honored Sommer’s heroes Don Cherry and Art Blakey. The former featured a Schubert reimaging of a Cherry head, while the dynamism of the latter was maintained as the bearded, diminutive drummer put an individualist stamp on many of Blakey’s distinctive runs. MORE

February 13, 2009


Free Zone Appleby 2007
psi 08.04

Charting the obscured relationship between traditional and improvised music, three sound explorers from different countries use extended techniques and careful listening to unearth a seldom-explored trajectory to this territory.

Although not one could be defined as a folk musician, American alto saxophonist and clarinetist Ned Rothenberg re-orients the unique sounds of the Japanese shakuiachi for improvised ends; Paolo Angeli adapts the cello-sized, multi-string guitar of his native Sardinia with preparation, extra bridges and electronics; and British saxophonist Evan Parker has at times meshed his playing with contributions from tradition-stylists such as an Italian brass band and a Tuvan throat singer. MORE

April 10, 2006

Abs (.) Hum

No Heroes
Tiramizu Triacd

Nu Bop Records


The London Electric Guitar Orchestra
Sticks and Stones
2:13 Music

Jozef van Wissem
Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

By Ken Waxman
April 10, 2006

Strings in multiples sets are the focus of these CDs, which match electronics to traditional instruments in programs that in most cases could only be created in the 21st Century. Featuring musicians from five European countries and the United States, they also suggest that globalism can be beneficial – when it involves sounds rather than commercial trade. All the discs feature strings manipulated in different fashions, although the majority of musicians are playing some variation of the world’s most popular string set – the guitar. MORE

June 21, 2004


213 CD017


Both these CDs are described as solo guitar sessions, which is true. But so is the fact that a rowboat and an ocean liner are both water vehicles.

John Bisset uses a standard acoustic model to improvise on seven melodies from The Scottish Students’ SongBook, which were recorded direct-to-DAT in Cheshire, England. Recorded at different concerts in Italy and France, Italian guitarist Paolo Angeli plays his 20 selections on a giant, cello-sized Sardinian guitar. It’s tuned from one-fourth to one-fifth below standard, and “prepared” with an extra bridge, pedal-operated, piano-like hammers, a bow in the form of a mechanical claw, pick ups, microphones and many additional criss-crossed strings. MORE