Thursday, 24 March 2016
Piero Umiliani (Moggi) in News! News! News! from 1979 [Sound Work Shop SWS 124]
Another home run from my library collector friend... wow.
Naturally you can expect some mastery from this particular composer. Quite a few LPs were released with the odd alias Moggi, many many more under the real name. Information in the database here. Some notes from the biography:
Born in July 17, 1926 in Firenze (Florence), Italy. Died in February 14, 2001 in Roma (Rome), Italy [i.e. aged 75].
Piero Umiliani was an Italian composer of film scores, most famous for his song "Mah Nà Mah Nà" of 1968, that was originally used for a Mondo documentary about Sweden (Svezia, Inferno e Paradiso) and became world-famous in 1977 when performed for The Muppet Show. The song was also an anthem of the Benny Hill show [loved that show! classic!]. Like many of his Italian colleagues at that time, he composed the scores for many exploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s, covering genres such as spaghetti western, Eurospy, Giallo, and soft sex films. Although not as widely regarded as, for example, Ennio Morricone or Riz Ortolani, he helped form the style of the typical European '60s/'70s jazz-influenced film soundtrack that later experienced a revival in films like Kill Bill and Ocean's Twelve.
In 1959, charged by great Mario Monicelli to compose the OST of ‘I Soliti Ignoti’ (Big Deal on Madonna Street) OST, he gains international recognition. The score featured Chet Baker on trumpet and it was the first experiment ever of Jazz Music on an Italian comedy movie. In 1961, he writes the music for ‘Smog’ OST were again he featured Chet Baker artistry along with Helen Merrill shaping a masterpiece in Jazz OST history. Il 1970, the Master opened Liuto Edizioni Musicali, his own publishing company and Sound Work Shop recording studio... [etc.]
I'll draw your attention to the Mahavishnu-fusionary chromatic minor seconds prevalent in the track called Inchiesta:
Or rather, Le Orme seems to be the influence here. How stunning it is that this habitually orchestral film composer shows us such mastery in the progressive arena! Do we all at least now agree that in some of these library records, the music absolutely shocks us with its quality-- particularly in the golden era of the mid-seventies?
While I apologize to all out there for the poor quality of the rip [mono?], I profusely thank the original ripper for his generosity in making this available to all to hear. Again, not a cheap record, averaging about 150 euros.
At least now you can purchase it with the sure knowledge it's worth every centime of that price...