Adelmo Fornaciar, known to the world by his nickname, Zucchero, which means "Sugar" in his homeland of Italy, has struck gold with his new release Zucchero & Co. Ok, I will admit it, I had never heard of this artist until now. For me this man is a revelation! It is rather apparent he has the respect of his peers worldwide as luminaries such as B.B. King, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and Jeff Beck collaborate with Zucchero on this release. Zucchero’s vocal style has a resemblance to Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, so if you are looking for some familiarity, there is one example.
The results of all the partnerships on each track are magnificent, making every track a true work of art. The recordings collectively date back to 2001. The CD starts with blues legend John Lee Hooker singing "I Lay Down." It is a memorable performance and one only John Lee could pull off. His voice was indeed unique and universal in the world of blues. My two favorites are back to back: "Wonderful World" with Clapton and "Hey Man (Sing a Song)" with King. Even when Zucchero sings in beautiful Italian, like with opera star Andrea Bocelli on "Miserere," and though I did not understand a word, I enjoyed it immensely.
The consistency and quality is remarkable on this album. It does not matter what waters Zucchero dips his toes in, he comes out sounding like a real star on every track. Having a lineup like this does not hurt either. Besides the obvious talents of the man, he attracted some of the finest talent in the music biz to the sessions, which says a mouthful about his taste in music. His talents as lyricist are strong and he is equally adept at many positions instrumentally, playing guitars, mellotron, electric piano, organ, fuzz synth and the Wurlitzer.
This artist has it all going in the right direction. The best part about it is he put it all together on one album. I can see this recording winning a Grammy of some sort for 2005. It is unequivocally a five star album in a world of sub par over inflated pop stars. I promise you that you will love everything about this album. You will enjoy the emotion, the diversity, the sounds, and the tremendous international crossover appeal that you find yourself joyously immersed in. This is a real winner. It is a sure bet for many spins. Get it.