“As soon as I find the time I’ll listen to it”, at least that is what I told myself, but then I succumbed to my natural curiosity, especially because the record “Giulia” had such a striking cover picture of someone who I imagined might have inspired, if not the whole petit suite, at least a significant part of it.
I knew Francesco Cataldo as an outstanding guitarist and a composer with a very discriminating ability to describe sentimental nuances with a strong autobiographical content, and the existential essence of this album certainly appeared to be autobiographical. Without knowing who Giulia was, I let myself be captivated by the image of a girl pensively looking out at the sea from the window of an ancient castle. Francesco looks at the stories he tells in much the same intense way, seeing their ancient and lyrical necessity as an essential principle of life and of music.
Pietro Leveratto perfectly sums up this vision as “the ability to communicate through what is unsaid”, even though perhaps music is never really “unsaid” and it simply speaks to us in another form. In this case it uses phrases and melodies which Francis is supremely able to perfect and polish in this complete polyptych assembled from 10 emotional pictures containing all the colours one can see when one gazes deeply inside oneself, ranging from those that express the most intimate, remote, solitary and crepuscular moods, to shining and iridescent joyful moments, composed by making spontaneous gestures and taking deep breaths.
When we talk about those who have made their contribution toward the music of an album we often call them “travelling companions” or “co-stars”. In this sense, Marc Copland on the piano, Pietro Leveratto on the double bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums seem to be actors with roles which the director has clearly delimited but which are also allowed to be poetically undefined and nuanced. This is particularly evident in the harmonies, to which they confer the refined substance of jazz and, above all, a subtle spirituality that is perfectly attuned to the intense contemporary transparencies of “Giulia”. When I eventually learned that this enigmatic girl is Francesco’s daughter I had a clear sense of Francesco looking out at the sea; a blue sea lying calm, barely caressed by the wind…
Fabrizio Ciccarelli (Director of Romainjazz and Artistic Supervisor of Music Magazine)