(by the way, I’ll be singing Rojotango live at 54 Below in January, dates and details coming soon here!! ;-))
Charlie has just released an album of Neapolitan songs — it’s really, really good, and it’s called Dolce Napoli.
In it he also sings Malafemmena, which is a famous song by Totò… Do you know Totò? If you don’t, you should. He was a great Neapolitan movie and theatre actor, mostly comedic but he also did some dramatic movies, like Uccellacci e uccellini by Pier Paolo Pasolini. His real name was Antonio De Curtis, he was also called “Il Principe” (“The Prince”), as he descended from a noble family, but also because he was considered the “prince of laughter”, the greatest comedian of his era (and possibly not just of his era, if you ask any Italian!), and he had a really peculiar face that just can’t be forgotten. Totò was also a screenwriter, a poet and a songwriter, too — Malafemmena is a poem he wrote which he then turned into a song.
Totò was a great actor but wasn’t the greatest singer, but Charlie does him and his song great justice here, singing Malafemmena wonderfully! And a lot of other beautiful songs, too, as there’s plenty of them in the Neapolitan tradition — Santa Lucia, ‘O surdato ‘nnammurato, Io, ‘na chitarra e ‘a luna… — you can buy his album directly from here: http://www.gprrecords.com/charles-castronovo-neapolitan-songs/
Photo credits: Charles Wenzelberg