Maruzzella and ‘O Sarracino Reprise, the flagships of Los Carosones

The songs have always been the stars of the Los Carosones show.
In this long adventure we have taken them around the world, paying attention to preserve their essence, to make the spirit of those who created them reach the public in a clear way. These ancient songs are our passport to exotic seas and unforgettable nights.

From the Rathaus in Vienna, to the concert for the Swedish royals, passing through the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona to Valparaiso and Bogotà, in South America. We have often overcome obstacles that were insurmountable at first sight and more than once we have felt that someone, from up there, winked at us. Among all the songs played there are two that shine in a special way for the memories that arouse us and that excite even those who have never heard them before.

The ovation in Canada for Maruzzella

We are in Vancouver, Canada, in August 2008. For me (Nino Milone) it is the first concert on Carosone: I was invited to sing with a Neapolitan ensemble directed by the great pianist Lello Milo. The Italian consulate has reserved a concert hall, packed for the occasion. There are about three hundred guests and more or less four generations of Italian-Canadians to listen. I see an elderly lady in the front row holding a Carosone record in her hands, a record with which – she will tell me later – she emigrated to Canada from Italy fifty years earlier.

The tension before the concert is high and not just for good reasons. In fact, as often happens to those who venture to produce shows, an unexpected event occurred on the day of departure. Our drummer had had an accident and forfeited. Once we landed in Vancouver, we had searched far and wide for a replacement, but being Jazz week we soon realized we had run into a dead end.

The day before the concert, tired and disheartened and about to cancel it, a drummer comes out of nowhere, also the son of Italian immigrants, and with a big smile and a strong Abruzzo-Canadian accent assures us that everything will be fine. And actually the concert goes well: we manage to play a repertoire, that of Carosone, which is easy only to listen to.
We slide quickly between the songs, becoming more and more familiar with the drummer thanks to his great professionalism and the experience of our Neapolitan pianist, maestro Milo.

Towards the end of the show, Maruzzella‘s moment arrives. The room is amused, lit and smiling thanks to the carosonian specks. I close my eyes to better focus on the words and stay like that until the song is over. Then something happens that I have never heard of again in many years: when the song is over, the ovation arrives. A feeling of amazement that the audience expresses with an “oooh” in the instant before the applause begins and that will always remain in the memory of a musician.

After that concert I decided to start the Los Carosones project in Barcelona. From the memory of that trip, I got the push to go forward every time I encountered difficulties on my path. Of that night in Vancouver there are still some photographs, which I mounted on the audio recording of Maruzzella, recorded once I got to Spain.

O ’Sarracino Reprise, for an explosive conclusion

The word reprise in musical jargon indicates the resumption of the theme of a song when it seemed over. It is a way to multiply the emotions of a performance, often playing the theme in an even faster way, until the final apotheosis.
This was Renato Carosone’s choice in the very “Serata di gala” in 1959 in which he announced his abandonment on live TV. He chooses as the last song of his concert one of his most irresistible compositions, in which tarantella and African rhythms meet and play chasing each other between light-hearted choirs and explosions of electro-acoustic guitar.
When he reaches the end of the path, instead of concluding the piece, the Maestro calls a group of dancers and percussionists to the stage and resumes the song in an enthralling crescendo.

In these years of concerts we have always left this piece at the end of the show, arranging “‘O Sarracino Reprise” in our own way, with great general satisfaction.
After all, the Los Carosones project is this: a reprise of the Dolce Vita.