Saturday 18 July 2015

FLP 116 - Modern Sound Quartet's 1976 Cocktail Bar, featuring the amazing Oscar Rocchi

Certainly Oscar Rocchi was one of the most brilliant unrecognized composers of this library era that strikes us today as full of formidable riches.  And that's especially obvious when you listen to this record for which I profusely must thank my library collector friend for locating and allowing me to overhear.  It's just a little incomprehensible that this music was thrown into an odd kind of remainder bin junkyard without any further attention paid to it.  Where were the listening human beings who first or thereafter played this and considered that maybe the music here was worth preserving and disseminating, given that it stands comparison to some of the best fusion of this admittedly already over-rich time?  It's an utter mystery to me...

Each track obviously is a musical image of some alcoholic libation, some successful evocations, some leave me a little puzzled in terms of how styles relate, but the music is always strong and impressive.  Consider the vodka entry, which makes one think of impoverished and depressed Russians in Red Square, where the life expectancy of the average male is now down to less than 60:

Probably the most successful mixology between music and cocktail is Kirsch, wherein the German or Swiss cherry-based liqueur achieves a wonderful pick-me-up quality from the guitar figures.  And notice how in the background the odd tempo of the rhythm section compliments those same phrases of the much slower melody.

The track called Kummel (a dutch liqueur that shockingly, I had never heard of), on the other hand will surely make all the fusioneers out there jump back into their spaceships for a light-speed interstellar drive to Andromeda (please include me in, with a window seat):

Killer stuff.  And I know-- I just know, that many of you out there will literally fall out of your chairs as I did when you listen through from beginning to end to this astonishingly well-composed and played album...  It goes without saying we will be trying to seek out more hidden treasures that fell from the mind of Oscar Rocchi...

I mean, wow...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. new up of cocktail bar:

  2. Fonovideo! A great Italian Library label, not seen often enough.

  3. A wonderful find. Thanks for another delightful treat!

  4. This one goes beyond the usual library wallpaper. I really like it - any more Modern Sound Quartet on the shelf?

  5. Well said, and I completely agree! Unfortunately, I don't think there's any more at least not in the database, if one does not count the scary-sounding " disco way " :

  6. I couldn't agree with you more, Julian. Rocchi is a damn genius and an under-appreciated giant of the era. Thanks again to you and your collector friend for sharing these MSQ LPs. Incidentally, Cocktail-Bar was reissued at some point by the Italian label Music Scene under the title Night Scene. All of the liquors and liqueurs have been renamed with nighttime themes and moods. Here's a link:

    It will be interesting to listen to this record again with these new song titles in mind and see if they match the music as well or better than the original names. Cheers!

  7. A wonderful album, just what I like to hear these days, soulful songs with dreamy and vintage sound.

    You made my day, thank you very much Julian for sharing !

  8. Wonderful. 24 hours ago I had never heard of Oscar Rocchi, and now I am smitten. Thank you for this!!

  9. For those who might be interested, Holy Basil Records will be reissuing this on vinyl in June together with "Floreama".