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Marco Bittelli – Alba

On his second CD, Alba, Marco Bittelli shows his continued commitment to the quality of the music he composes and plays. Whether Latin or swing, acoustic or electric, intense or contemplative, the Italian guitarist is dedicated to originality in his compositions and recordings.

The second CD features the same experienced rhythm section as the first, with drummer Dave Jarvis and bassist Dave Snider. New instrumentalists included piano player Brian Ward, saxophonist and Washington State University chair of the music department Gregory Yasinitsky and trumpet player Vern Sielert, an accomplished performer and professor of trumpet.

As with the first CD, Bittelli chose to record the melodies of his compositions on a variety of instruments, not just his guitar.

“When I compose a song, even before writing down the music, I often hear the instrument that it should play the melody,” Bittelli said. “Sometimes it is a guitar, but sometimes it is a horn. The most important element for me is staying true to the first feelings and atmosphere that inspired the composition.”

Alba was influenced by the diversity of blended rhythms and sounds of South American music.

“The tune Sambando was inspired by the sound of the Samba as played in Brazil with the cavaquinho, a small string instrument of the European guitar family with four strings. It is often played with simple, repetitive melodies with a staccato rhythm, utilizing the guitar more as a percussive instrument rather than a melodic one. ”

“Ritorno (return) is written as a slow Zamba, a popular Argentinean rhythms that incorporate guitars, voices and an Argentinean drum known as bombo which is a double headed drum popular throughout the Andean region. Instead of a voice, often used to sing the Zamba songs, the tenor sax playes a long tone melody with a vocal feel.”

“Barcelona is dedicated to a city I love. Here we blended the sound of a nylon strings guitar, typical of the Spanish guitar style, with the sound of a flugelhorn.”

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