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Milagro Acu Stico
I Storie o Café di lu Furestiero
Tinder

By TOM ORR

Published April 7, 2006

This sort of thing used to (often disdainfully) be called a “concept” album. The theme here is a fictitious café on a small Mediterranean island near Sicily. It is a place happened upon by visitors near and far, travelers with stories and wisdom to impart. With Rome-based band Milagro acu Stico (plus an array of guest players) presenting these imaginary tales as songs, the concept works. Skilled musicianship and a seamless blending of European, Arabic and African flavors give these tuneful tales a feel generally hovering between world-weary and wistfully celebratory. The disc is nicely atmospheric, with just the sort of carrying-away effect many global music listeners are no doubt searching for. This journey is one of rich instrumental passages, sensual vocals and occasional spoken word interludes, and by the time you reach the concluding track (which signifies the closing of the café for the evening), thoughts of how enjoyable the visit has been are at the forefront of your mind.

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