Consumer Guide Album
Pietra Montecorvino: Napoli Mediterranea [Taranta Power/Rai Trade, 2011]
A featured artist in the John Turturro documentary Passione!, Montecorvino is a Neapolitan actress born in 1962 whose recording career began at 30. This album, dated 2003 on my copy, has seen at least four releases since then, and as music solely, with no lyrical clues beyond titles with "luna" and "mare" in them, its understatement is riveting. What Montecorvino wants the world to hear is the beatwise romantic grit of the Maghreb, where so many of her home port's most recent immigrants began their hard lives, reinvigorating the sweet romantic melody Napoli's emigrants sentimentalize. Though usually the percussion and guitar sound Euro-American, at times you can hear ouds and darbukas in there, and Elvis fans need to know what she makes of "O sole mio."