Faraualla is Cristina Palmiotto, Teresa Vallarella, and Maristella and Gabriella Schiavone—four women from the Apulia region of southern Italy.

Faraualla is Cristina Palmiotto, Teresa Vallarella, and Maristella and Gabriella Schiavone—four women from the Apulia region of southern Italy. Lovely voices all, but what they do together with a piece of music is truly amazing. They're also songcatchers, drawing material from Russia, Bulgaria, and Hungary, as well as the Adriatic and Mediterranean regions. The quartet even does a number inspired by a Native American chant, and "Questa Fanciul-L'Amor" is a 14th century ballad. A cappella moments? Absolutely, but Faraualla also works with accompaniment that ranges from harness bells to cymbals to darabukka and rattle drum. For a vocal jam that would challenge the best hip-hop artists, check out the original "Maha Te Song." If the topic is breathtaking four-part harmony, then the entire album is a practicum on that subject. Touted as the Zap Mama of Italy, Faraualla has the stuff to make that claim stick. Distributed by Velas Records.—PVV