Peppino D’Agostino 2020
“X” marking the spot, Sicilian axeman’s exquisite pieces seek out a route to one psyche.
It’s telling that, decades after his crossing the Atlantic, Peppino D’Agostino is still perceived as Italian musician, because European classical tradition still seeps out of this artist’s instrumental numbers. “ConneXion” – appearing five years down the line after "Penumbra" saw the maestro interpret contemporary composers’ oeuvre alongside original tracks – is a great example of his method where light and shade mix so impeccably as to elicit a spectrum of feelings rather than keep the listener mesmerized as there’s no stasis now.
Quite the opposite: here, even short cuts “Beauty In The Abyss” and “Head Case” are teeming with tentative movement, while larger aural paintings such as “High Plains Guitarra” – all, except for “Stammi Vicino” that, thanks to co-writer Stef Burns, elegiac on electric terms, acoustically driven – evoke the Renaissance transparency. Some of Peppino’s passages vigorously shatter this stained-glass grace, though, yet if the folk filigree of “Buster” is simply stunning, the blues angle of “Dancing With Shadows” can’t be more unexpected in this context – only it doesn’t feel alien in there. Whether D’Agostino will be prone to make his rock nerve prominent next time is a moot point, but he’s able to reach out to a wider audience, and “ConneXion” might be but one of the ways to do so.