Monday Notes

Nicola Arigliano, guilty… of loving jazz

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Leggi in Italiano

[Monday Notes no. 163]Nicola Arigliano was a great lover of jazz and contributed to its diffusion in Italy, already his first recordings from the 1950s have a clear jazz flavour in their arrangements and in his way of singing. Below we listen to and analyse one of his latest hits, presented at the Sanremo festival in 2005 and entitled Colpevole (guilty).

For the majority of Italian singers who have tried their hand at jazz, music has been combined with cabaret. In our tradition, jazz is light-hearted and humorous music, and this stereotype has unfortunately also influenced the arrangements, which are often predictable and somewhat tedious. Arigliano, too, achieved success with songs of this type, in particular with Maramao perché sei morto and Carina.

Colpevole is instead a classic love song, a graceful piece in the AABA form, in the key of D minor. Part [A] begins with a perfect cadence that takes us back to the tonic Dm, while the second line moves to the fourth degree Gm.

Colpevole - analisi spartito [A]

The middle section, part [B], briefly modulates to the relative key of F major. This section is missing a measure, in fact it only lasts seven measures instead of the more classical eight measures. Even if you are not a music expert, try listening to this part by following the words on the score and you will notice that “a measure is missing”, the piece quickens in this part, before resuming the concluding section [A].

Colpevole - analisi spartito [B]

Colpevole is certainly not an original song from a harmonic point of view, and even the arrangement is predictable and stereotypical. However, Nicola Arigliano gives an intense and effective interpretation, supported by his great experience as a jazz singer.

Bringing a jazz piece to the Sanremo festival stage was certainly a worthwhile operation. By his side played among others some great Italian jazz musicians, such as Gianni Basso and Franco Cerri. Together with Nicola Arigliano, all of them surely guilty of an immense passion for jazz.

Until next Monday!

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