204

Piero Umiliani: To-Day's Sound

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count
Piero Umiliani scored over 60 films in his native Italy between 1958 and 1981. And it's no secret that Italian films, even as derivative and as unfamiliar as they are to most Americans, are a treasure trove of excellent artistry. The recent "now-sound" craze is finally affording Italian film composers like Umiliani their due.

This 1971 double-album-on-one-CD is a prize. It's an instrumental program, similar to the kind Henry Mancini used to release between films. But this one is tougher, filled with clever electric themes, gritty car-chase funk and superb playing by many of Italy's best jazz artists (including the vastly under-appreciated pianist Franco D'Andrea). American cop shows like "Streets of San Francisco" and "Starsky and Hutch" weren't even playing this kind of music until the mid 70s. But here Umiliani, who has clearly studied his Mancini and Lalo Schifrin, stakes his claim.

Highlights are so plentiful over these 76 minutes, it would be easier to list the duds. But even then, it's worth tuning in for creative jazz explorations and other wild surprises. The entrancing, moody funks of "Lady Magnolia," "Music on the Road" and "Tropical River," are this listener's favorites, though. Umiliani composed all 21 tracks and is heard on moog, Fender Rhodes and marimba. Sometimes he's out front, but other electric keyboards, guitars and a bevy of percussion keep that groove percolating. Easy Tempo (Right Tempo), the Italian company that's at the forefront of making so much of this great 70s "now-sound" music available on CD, also features Umiliani's best moments on their five excellent, highly-recommended Easy Tempo collections. True believers, however, can proceed right to Umiliani's recently issued soundtracks, also on Easy Tempo: Angeli Bianchi...Angeli Neri and Sweden – Heaven & Hell. To-Day's Sound is a winner.

Tracks:Open Space; Green Valley; Caretera Panamericana; Goodmorning Sun; To-Day's Sound; Free Dimension; Truck Driver; Blue Lagoon; Wanderer; Lady Magnolia; Pretty; Railroad; Country Town; Bus Stop; Cotton Road; Nocturne; Exploration; Tropical River; Coast to Coast; Safari Club; Music On The Road.

Personnel: Piero Umiliani: moog, Fender Rhodes, Mexican marimba; Marcello Boschi: flute; Mario Midana, Dino Piana, Biagio Marullo: trombone; Oscar Valdambrini, Al Corvin, Marino Di Fulvio: trumpet; Antonello Vannucchi: Hammond organ; Franco D'Andrea: piano, clavichord; Carlo Zoffoli: marimba, vibraphone; Sergio Carnini: Lowery organ; Silvano Carnini, Sergio Coppotelli: guitar; Maurizio Majorana: bass; Giovanni Tommaso: doulbe bass; Enzo Restuccia, Gege Munari: drums, percussion; Cico Ciro: percussion.

| Record Label: Easy Tempo | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Odil - Something" CD/LP/Track Review Odil - Something
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky" CD/LP/Track Review The Great Jazz Gig In The Sky
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Southern Lights" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Lights
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Vocturnal" CD/LP/Track Review Vocturnal
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!