Tag lined as “Gypsy Jazz Meets Indian Music,” Italian native Filippo Dall Asta’s Mediterasian is exactly what I needed in the midst of a cold, dark and dreary Canadian winter. Raised in Italy and trained across Europe and India, Dall Asta blends the healing aspects from classical Indian style and joy of Gypsy jazz, in a poignant combination that makes you feel as if you are in a dreamy European café, falling in love (yes, I am aware of just how cheesy that sounds, but it is true). Despite the sheer level of sophistication and maturity it displays, Mediterasian is Dall Asta’s first full-length, released in December of 2018 and features over twenty guest musicians, bringing with them a truly rich depth.
With the exception of three tracks, which also feature crooning vocals in various languages, Mediterasian is an incredibly impressive display of instrumentality. From Dall Asta’s mind-blowingly beautiful guitar work, to hand drums, to jazzy trumpet solos, this is the kind of album you can listen to in basically any mood, anywhere, and any time. Opening with a short, Indian style guitar intro that reminds me a bit of the Beatles’ “Within You Without You,” the album traverses emotional peaks and valleys from the haunting “Nothingland,” to the more playful “Prelude No.2 In C Minor.”
While the classical Indian style, with the twangy sitar and up-tempo hand drum beat invokes a romantic introspection and provides a solid foundation on which Dall Asta’s sprawling guitar flows, the horns and clarinet in tracks like “Cristina,” pull in the wild gypsy jazz spirit in an utterly satisfying marriage. To get a visual sense of just how all of these elements come together, check out Dall Asta’s video here or below, which features various parts of the recording of the album.
There is no doubt that this literally flawless and exceptional feat is probably one of the best, most beautiful albums I have reviewed in my three odd years with Bucketlist.
Written by Jordan Hodgins
*edited by Mike Milito