Artist

NAPOLI CENTRALE

1974-75
James Senese (sax, flute, vocals)
Mark Harris (keyboards)
Tony Walmsley (bass)
Franco Del Prete (drums, percussion)

1975
Harris and Walmsley quit, replaced by:
Pippo Guarnera (keyboards)
Kelvin Bullen (bass)

1976
Guarnera and Bullen replaced by:
Ciro Ciscognetti (keyboards)
Pino Daniele (bass)

Napoli Centrale were formed by the nucleus of Showmen after the band's split, when James Senese and Franco Del Prete, along with American keyboardist Mark Harris and English bass player Tony Walmsley veered toward a personal blend of jazz-rock and popular music leaving any traces of prog behind them. 

With lyrics sung in Neapolitan dialect, the first single Campagna became a hit. 
The six-track debut album was in a similar style, the strong lyrics dealing with social problems while the music was sometimes very original. 
After the LP release, bassist Tony Walmsley left the band to join the reformed Rovescio della Medaglia, and was soon followed by Mark Harris, they were
replaced by keyboardist Pippo Guarnera and various bass players, Bruno Limone, Giovanni Ferla and the last one the Trinidad born Kelvin Bullen. This line-up had a good live activity, with a couple of important concerts, in Rome opening for Weather Report and the Duke-Cobham Band, and later at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, then they broke up at the end of 1975.

A second album was released in 1976, with help from many well-known session musicians among which drummers Bruno Biriaco (Perigeo), Agostino Marangolo (Flea and Goblin), and Marvin "Boogaloo" Smith, and was in the same style as the first LP.

Third album came in 1977, with the founding duo helped by other musicians, and was more jazz-oriented than their previous works. Among the band musicians in these years were keyboardist Ciro Ciscognetti from Fabio Celi & gli Infermieri and a young Pino Daniele on bass, later a popular solo artist. Even the previous keyboardist, Pippo Guarnera, who in 1976 had joined Eugenio Finardi's band, played on Qualcosa ca nun more.

After the band split James Senese started a solo career with the first two albums in 1983-84, while both him and Del Prete were very active as session musicians.
Keyboardist Mark Harris, still living in Italy, has launched his own record label, Saint Rock, to promote new Italian artists (see link below).

A revamped line-up of Napoli Centrale was created by James Senese in the late 80's, with Savio Riccardi (keyboards), Gigi De Rienzo (bass) and Agostino Marangolo (drums). This line-up released two albums, Jesceallah in 1992, including reworkings of early tracks, and 'Ngazzate nire in 1994. Another album followed in 2001, entitled Zitte! Sta venenn' 'o mammone.

In 2005 neapolitan rock writer Carmine Aymone published Je st cc.....James Senese, a book with a bonus CD with 6 tracks, produced by the independent label Suonidelsud (see link at the bottom of the page and the Books section for more details).

 

LP
Napoli Centrale Ricordi (SMRL 6159) 1975 gatefold cover - early copies included a sticker
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8201) 80's single cover
Mattanza Ricordi (SMRL 6187) 1976 gatefold cover
  Ricordi/Orizzonte (ORL 8349) 80's single cover
Qualcosa ca nun more Ricordi (SMRL 6224) 1977 gatefold cover


CD
Napoli Centrale BMG (MPCD 32948-2) 1995 reissue of 1975 album
  BMG (74321 86015-2) 90's as above
Mattanza BMG (74321 89028-2) 90's reissue of 1976 album
Qualcosa ca nun more BMG (74321 44157-2) 90's reissue of 1977 album
Jesceallah Blue Angel (BAR 40592) 1992  
'Ngazzate nire Blue Angel (FDM 70494) 1994  
Zitte! Sta venenn' 'o mammone Sony (PDG 5030512) 2001  


SINGLES (with picture sleeve)
Campagna
Vico Primo Parise n.8
Ricordi (SRL 10756) 1975 both tracks from Napoli Centrale, here in shorter versions
Simme iute simme venute
Chi fa l'arte e chi s'accatta
Ricordi (SRL 10806) 1976 both tracks from Mattanza - probably only issued as a promo with blank cover

 

All the Napoli Centrale albums are not difficult to find, the only rarity being the first LP with the original yellow sticker that was on the shrink (but some early copies also contained another sticker into the cover). 
The single had the same cover as the LP, but the sticker logo was printed in this case.

No counterfeit exists, nor foreign reissues.

Napoli Centrale - stickered open gatefold 

Mattanza - LP

Campagna - 7" single

Simme iute e simme venute - 7" promo-only single

 

 

Former Napoli Centrale keyboardist Mark Harris' label, Saint Rock, has a website at http://www.saintrock.com 
The independent label Suonidelsud, that produced the CD Je st cc enclosed as bonus with the eponymous book on James Senese, has an Internet website at www.suonidelsud.it 

 

 

Thanks to Pippo Guarnera for the detailed information on the group's story and to Simone Corsi for pictures and information