Sfumature is the work of three Italian musicians: keyboard player / guitarist Luca Proietti, percussionist Fluvio Maras, and trumpeter Alfredo Posillipo. The trio recorded the album for the label Clac, in 1992, but only a few hundred copies were pressed and the record never saw an official release. Somehow Obscure Sound expert Chee Shimizu came across one, and struck a deal to distribute the “deadstock” through his 17853 imprint. Archeo Recordings have now licensed the music for a new worldwide reissue. Adding a further 2 reworked archival cuts to the original 10.
Both sides open with gentle tropical tides of marimba / vibes-like chimes. Mellow moments in the mode of Wally Badarou`s Mambo, or Malcolm McLaren`s Obatala. A chorus of quiet congas for cooling sea breezes. Cocktails? Make mine a mojito.
Side A closes with a folk forged from piano and flute, goblet drums and what sounds like a Middle Eastern oud – filing the track next to globe-trotting Cafe del Mar classics such as Rão Kyao`s Travessia. While a remixed Vertigini provides the album’s full stop. A beatless calm of splashes of sound, birdsong, and ethereal but operatic vocals. In between there are avant-garde abstractions – a kind of orchestral industrial, driven by kettle drum timpani. Slow synthetic fanfares mix with Posillipo`s horn. Trombe Di Alfredo is a Jon Hassell-esque fourth world heat-haze of ritual rhythms and Miles Davis-like cool. This track, and its nearest neighbours invoking seminal `80s soundtracks by both Mark Isham and Eric Serra. The short Alfredo Fantasy is a “balearic break” of bongos and funky organ stabs.
The rejigged Sotto La Cascata rides a hallucinatory hip hop beat – bolstered by an electronic low-end. The diva / siren, brushed skins and upright bass synergising in a sonic space part new age and part spiritual jazz.
You can order a copy of Maras Posillipo Proietti`s Sfumature directly from Archeo Recordings.