There are the times when you realize you have been missing home for way too long. In nothing else do I realize it as much as when I get to hear music from Italy, one of my home countries, the one with the more distinct music tradition.
Italy has of course an extremely long tradition in music, as exemplified by the copious amounts of musical terms that are borrowed from the Italian. There is opera, of course, but also concert (from Italian in concerto, together); there is the violin, the cello (from Italian violoncello, little big viola). And there are scores of musicians that are unknown outside Italy, but once in a while reach out and become famous.
Zucchero Fornaciari is one of them. He has a wonderful dark voice, and if he were American, you’d probably hear him called soulful.
Starbucks decided to give him a chance and started selling his CD Zucchero & Co. at stores statewide. I was lucky and saw one (of a great many) on the rack and grabbed it.
This CD is a collection of duets with famous singers of all types. Some songs are in Italian, others in English or even Spanish. The songs are varied, as are the voices of the singers; Zucchero is the only constant, since many of the songs have been written for the CD or belong to the repertoires of the duet partner.
Sting’s song Muoio Per Te (I am dying for you) is a classical Sting ballad, one in which Sting and Zucchero spar in two languages in a way that must have had a lot of appeal to the European audience for which it was written. Blue, sung with Sheryl Crow is another beautiful, soulful song with more of a rock bent.
There are 14 songs on the CD, all with outstanding friends singing along with Zucchero. Worth it.