Hailing from the northern Italian municipality of Gavi, just south of Turin, an area known more for its wine than for its music, the oddly named, modern jazz trio, Mamasuya make their debut with their self titled, instrumental album.
Comprised of guitarist Matteo Cerboncini, bassist Nicola Bruno, and drummer Stefano Resca, Mama Suya (sometimes stylized as Mamasuya) have crafted a jazz album that doesn’t strictly adhere to the confines of the genre by blending elements of rock, funk, and the blues into their work.
The interesting bit is that the intermingling of these various musical styles seem to appear naturally and spontaneously like any decent jazz band should do. There’s a lighthearted, improvisational feel to almost every track, as if the Mama Suya stepped into the studio with merely an idea of a song and just jammed until something worthy of laying down appeared.
Something not immediately apparent, especially from the dreary, street beggar inspired cover, is Mama Suya’s sense of humor. To begin with, there is no Italian translation for the word Mama Suya, however, in Spanish it roughly translates to something akin to “your mother” or “your breast.” Additionally, on their Facebook page, they “liked” another page titled Mama Suya – a type of West African barbeque.
This loose, goofy attitude materializes on the album with song titles such as “Boogaloo Street,” “Cattitude,” and “My Irish Kangaroo.” “Boogaloo Street” is the first single off the album and sports its own music video which is essentially an eight minute short film. It alludes to the aforementioned food interpretation of the band’s name, as at first, the trio seem to be Mafia type criminals engaged in murder and drug production only later to be revealed as barbeque connoisseurs.
Overall, Mama Suya sound like a cross between a lounge act in a smoky jazz bar, a Steppenwolf tribute band, and a Cialis commercial for erectile dysfunction. That is to say, they incorporate many different riffs, moods, and sounds on their eponymous LP, but in the end, it isn’t my cup of tea. Nonetheless, their talent is undeniable and for that, they deserve credit. Here’s hoping Mama Suya’s next dish is more satisfying.
Tags: album review, blues, FUNK, instrumental, Italy, Jazz, mama suya, Mama Suya - Mamasuya album review, mamasuya, new music, Rock