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Gianmaria Testa - Solo dal vivo

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Album Review

To call Gianmaria Testa Italy's Leonard Cohen isn't fair to either man, but it's an inviting comparison. Both are very poetic lyricists, very aware of the human condition, and the roughness of their voices — well-inhabited, perhaps — isn't a million miles apart. This live disc marks a good starting point for those who don't know Testa's work. It's very stripped-down, just him and his guitar, about as bare as it can get, which actually shows the beauty of his songs without clutter. Much of the material is older, some of it quite beautiful, such as "Biancaluca" and "Polvere di Gesso," songs that transcend language. Testa is aware, not just politically, but very much of the human condition. These are songs with depth, songs as more than entertainment, with no concession to commercial success; in other words, songs as art. That said, he's obviously a skilled performer, adept at keeping his audience spellbound. It doesn't matter if you don't speak Italian. The mood communicates instantly, as does the heart of it all.


Born: 1958 in Piedmonte, Italy

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

At the beginning of his career, Italian guitarist and singer Gianmaria Testa, who is often likened to compatriot Paolo Conte due to their similar, gruff-sounding voices and origins in the Piedmonte province of Italy, had much more success in the French market than in his native country. The self-taught musician, who wrote his first song at 13, was discovered by producer Nicole Courtois in 1994 after Testa had won consecutive top prizes at the Recanti Festival, an annual singer/songwriter competition....
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Gianmaria Testa - Solo dal vivo, Gianmaria Testa
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