Baqshish gathers together and consolidates traces of Banchini’s previous work which has taken him from the study of classical and Medieval music to music therapy to southern Italian folk music to the traditions of Balkans and the Mediterranean. From his early days in the town band of Pozzuoli where he was born, Banchini has always believed in the importance of playing live, an approach which has lead to numerous collaborations with international groups and artists. In Italy he has played with Ataraxia, Lino Cannavacciuolo, Marcello Colasurdo and is a key fixture in singer and guitarist Massimo Ferrante’s band. Baqshish is a CD bursting with colour and flavour on which BANCHINI’s original compositions blend with traditional Mediterranean songs and melodies. As well as various types of clarinet BANCHINI plays nay, flute, chalumeaux, piano, while his own voice broadens even further the expressive possibilities of his music. Accompanying him on the record are a group of fine musicians including Davide Della Monica (guitar), Cristiano Della Monica (percussion), Francesco Migliaccio (accordion) and Manuela Salinaro (darabouka, cajon, frame drums). The tracks that comprise Baqshish are extremely lively, with admirable instrumental passages that invite mind and body to join the dance. But there’s no lack of quieter, more reflective moments either, borne upon the arcane, beguiling tones of BANCHINI’s winds, or of voices in dialects and tongues that evoke far flung corners of time and space. Baqshish is an open work that finds an ideal balance between the rediscovery and renewal of folk heritage and experimentation of a more contemporary flavour, a record that is sure to delight listeners who regard music as a privileged means of communication between people and cultures of different origins.