Carosone, the American from Naples – Books – One book a day


(by Claudia Fascia) (ANSA) – ROME, MAY 27 – RENATO CAROSONE, FEDERICO VACALEBRE, “CAROSONE – 100. Autobiography of the American of Naples”, preface by John Turturro, Albatros, pp. 176, 15.00 euros).
One hundred years ago, on January 3, 1920, Renato Carosone was born in the heart of a “popular Naples, ragged and yet very noble”, “this nose as sad as a climb, these cheerful Italian eyes on a trip”. Renato the American, and not only for that song, You want to be an American, who gave him timeless success. Rather for his ability to have been the leading interpreter and representative of the Neapolitan song (and Italian pop music), mixing the Neapolitan rhythms with the melodies that came from afar, from the United States as from Africa, between tarantella, jazz, swing .
“To think that the man who wrote this great beauty would be one hundred years old today gives us confirmation of how young his songs and his art are still”, writes John Turturro in the preface that enriches the autobiography written by Carosone in 2000 (a year before his death) and today updated by the journalist Federico Vacalebre and republished on the centenary anniversary of the artist’s birth. “I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that Renato Carosone was the first rapper of all time,” ventures the Italian-American actor motivating his affirmation with the need to say, to express himself, to tell the rhythm.
A journey in the “carosuono”, in the history of the man who – more attracted by the shabby piano he had at home than by the school – in the post-war period of the economic boom, of trust and hopes found, renewed the Neapolitan song, and therefore the Italian one , and taking her by the hand he carried her around the world. Classical pianist and jazz musician, brilliant innovator, he drew a line between before and after Carosone, inspiring several generations of artists. Like Edoardo Bennato who claimed the right to define himself “among the sons of Carosone”.
“At that time – wrote Carosone, explaining his music – the Neapolitan songs were practically banished from the locals: they had broken, annoyed, were boring, sad they didn’t talk about everyday life. Even in Naples they didn’t want to hear them anymore, or maybe it was we, sick of America, who no longer wanted to sing and play them. So I had the idea of ​​proposing them with the same swing rhythm as the masterpieces of Cole Porter and George Gershwin. In this way, for example, in addition to Stardus and Night and Day I could also do Me so ” drunk ‘and sun “.
The story of the American in Naples is indeed the story of an artist who has left his mark, but retracing his first steps (the first work at 14 years as a pianist at the theater of the Opera dei Pupi for 4 lire a day), l nine-year experience in Africa between Eritrea and Ethiopia while the First World War also broke out, the return to a changed Naples, its successes first national, then international until the unexpected retirement, at the peak of success, in 1959 with some appearances here and there in the following years, it also traces the history of an Italy from its rubble to rebirth. (HANDLE).

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