Baith (Mario Poletti Music, 2008)
Italian multi-instrumentalist Mario Poletti specializes in stringed instruments such as the mandolino (Italian mandolin), the Irish bouzouki (a variation of the original Greek bouzouki), tenor banjo, mandola and mandocello. Even though Poletti has been involved in numerous world music and world jazz ensembles, his solo work on Baith takes him to the folk music of the Italian Alps and other mountainous areas of Italy.
The lively pieces are instrumental, featuring solos by Poletti and flautist Gerardo Cardinale. They are supported by percussion, guitar and keyboards. The majority of the pieces are original by Poletti, although he also includes new arrangements of traditional folk pieces. The folk styles range from waltzes to polkas.
The first two pieces may lead the listener to think that this is an acoustic effort, but track three ventures into hybrid territory by adding reggae beats and organ. In addition to the Caribbean influences, Poletti also adds American country, swing, contemporary acoustic and other elements into the mix.
More information at www.myspace.com/mariopoletti.