June 12, 2021

Warning, this review contains smooth jazz so if this is anathema to you then best stop reading now. I have always loved jazz in its many, many forms most particularly as jazz fusion but over the years this has broadened from traditional jazz all the way through to free form and people like John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong are some of the greatest musicians ever to walk the earth and there are so many, many more jazz men and women equally deserving of this accolade. Being of a certain age people like Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen were staples of TV and radio so how could you not grow up without a love for this sparkling and dynamic music? In truth, I have often mused that jazz and progressive rock are almost twins as both delight in pushing the boundaries to the extreme and beyond.

So now we get back to Joe Barbieri, a smooth and sophisticated Italian male (is there any other sort), and his latest divine and slick smooth jazz delight. Barbieri is a singer, songwriter and producer and citizen of Naples so is a man with a real zest for life and he invites you into his world for this delightful and upbeat smooth jazz album that is absolutely dripping in honey but is never, ever cloying. The strings are luscious and horns refined and dignified with Barbieri having a laid back delivery and most expressive voice and it is difficult to listen to this album without imaging clear blues skies and the Mediterranean lapping at your feet as you lazily partake in your favourite thirst quenching drink (OK, lager then). Barbieri is somewhat prolific with this being his twelfth album to date with some of his earlier albums dedicated to the likes of Chet Baker and Billie holiday so his life really does rotate about all things jazz. The songs are all sung in Italian which really suits the sophisticated sounds slipping out of your speakers with the songs relating to personal matters and life experiences of Barbieri but you would need to be an Italian speaker to verify this (and I am not).

If you have ever chanced upon Jazz FM and liked what you heard or count The Girl From Ipanema among your favourite songs then you will really enjoy this. If you are a death metal fan then get a copy for your mom on Mother’s Day as she will most certainly enjoy it even if it is not your cup of tea but please, please always keep an open mind and give everything a fair listen.

Tratto Da Una Storia Vera (Based On A True Story) track list

  1. La Giusta Distanza (3:46)
  2. Promemoria (3:39)
  3. Previsioni Del Tempo (3:59)
  4. Niente Di Grave (4:22)
  5. Lazzari Felici (2:56)
  6. Vedi Napoli E Poi Canta (3:43)
  7. In Buone Mani (4:12)
  8. Alla Fine (3:50)
  9. Tu Io E Domani (3:08)
  10. Manifesto (3:54)
  11. Mentre Ridi (2:48)