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 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Il bandito dagli occhi azzurri
Morricone Jazz

This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

Of the 400 scores Morricone has done there are relatively few quotes from other composers in the main themes. But there are a couple of big exceptions. One is DAYS OF HEAVEN which after seeing the film I can understand why he broke his own rule about not scoring films with temp music. Who could walk away from that breathtaking imagery just because Terence Malick insisted on using Saint-Saëns in the film and as the basis of the score. The other is THE BLUE-EYED BANDIT that is in-your-face Dave Brubeck's Take Five. Since jazz is unstructured and film is always, even the most freewheeling ones, structured, jazz and film have always made an uneasy mix. The best jazz film composers, like Duke Ellington, Elmer Bernstein and Quincy Jones, have managed to impose a framework for that freewheeling style. The story of THE BLUE-EYED BANDIT seems an ideal situation because it involves Lorenzo, a brown-eyed meek crippled clerk in an export firm and lives with his mother who at night becomes a sexy edgy blue-eyed bandit. The meek clerk gets chamber music and at night he gets the Brubeck. It works. Long ago I put both of these scores on the shelf figuring if I wanted to hear them I would take out my Saint-Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" or Dave Bruebeck's "Take Five" and hear the originals.
Years have passed and I'm a different man. I've learned all my favorite composers have quoted and I even have become philosophical about Horner's "borrowings" (except for a couple that are direct lifts). So I pull these two off the shelf and Lo and behold. Like for Sergio Leone, where Morricone took a Woody Guthrie song arrangement that belongs in the California of the Dust Bowl Era and moded it to fit the American-Mexican west of the previous century, he took Saint-Saëns' piece away from the zoo and the Aquarium and smack into the northern mid-west world of Americana. The Academy didn't nominate Saint-Saëns but Morricone filling in all that drama and those twilights in those DAYS OF HEAVEN. And Morricone brought more of an edge and less laid back approach to Brubeck as befitting a bandit:

He also brought in Enrico Pieranunzi, who if you don't know, has been THE jazz pianist in Italy for decades and done a few film scores himself. He has recorded almost 50 albums including many early ones with Chet Baker. He even did two volumes of music of Ennio Morricone music. What he brings to this soundtrack is magical. There is one cut "Per Dalila" that is my favorite, a jazzy literally straight up and down composition. Totally unique. And don't let me ignore Morricone's usually wonderful chamber cues "Esecuzione Radiofonica" and especially "Madre Assente". This needs an expansion.
The director Alfredo Giannetti gained notoriety for being one of the writers to win an Oscar for the screenplay to DIVORCE ITALIAN STYLE. This gained him the opportunity to do a momentous TV project 4 movies portraying 100 years of Italian history with the TV debut of the great Anna Magnani, TRE DONNE and CORREVA L'ANNO DI GRAZIA 1870. Morricone scored these and was brought back for a very different type of score for BANDIT.

BTW If anyone didn't get to hear "Lei Se Ne More" from ANCHE SE VOLESSI, CHE FACCIO? I managed to find it and have it up:


 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 1:41 PM   
 By:   morrifan   (Member)

Probably in my Top 15 (10?) favorite EM scores. Love the trio jazz cues, as well as the rest (Esecuzione Radiofonica etc...).

Another much wished reissue

 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 3:18 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Love, love, love this score.

 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   zippy   (Member)

Bing! What the tall guy said!
#28 ... took you long enough to get here, Henry. wink

 Posted:   Feb 4, 2011 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

Agreed. This was one of my earlier Morricone aquisitions and I fell for it instantly. Not your typical Morricone entry. Catchy stuff.

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2011 - 2:23 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

For me, this falls into the good and enjoyable but not great scores from Ennio Morricone. It is, perhaps, a little too close to Mr. Brubeck's Take Five for comfort. Certainly in the early days I kept thinking it should be that iconic melody and that it was being played either out of tune or off key.

More recently I've found I do enjoy the score in its own right, but with 300+ other EM scores to choose from this one doesn't get close to the top.

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2011 - 4:06 AM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Not familiar with this one but the sample in the clip sounds pretty good.

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2011 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   Issac   (Member)

I've ordered this. "Esecuzione radiofonica" sounds worth the price alone.

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2011 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I wanted to bump this one, just because it's a real favourite. As well as the fantastic jazz cues, it also has one of those rondos that starts off all baroque* but transforms into a jazz set-piece. The kids love this piece and even tolerate the rest of the score, which is a triumph in my book!

* It may not be strictly baroque, but I know what I mean

 Posted:   Mar 31, 2011 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

One of my favourite Ennio scores.......

 Posted:   Sep 18, 2020 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

I recently obtained this.
Ooh er. Straight away it really has a Jerry Fielding Killer Elite feel. Way out on left-field for Ennio. A rather unique score.

 Posted:   Apr 26, 2021 - 10:32 AM   
 By:   Bill Carson, Earl of Poncey   (Member)

Had another listen to this.
I get the Brubeck sound but it still screams Fielding to me. Anyone who like jazz -edged scores should get this.

 Posted:   Apr 26, 2021 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

* It may not be strictly baroque, but I know what I mean

Well, as they say, if it ain't baroque, don't fix it! smile

 Posted:   Apr 26, 2021 - 11:29 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

The years of the films would be helpful in these threads.

This is apparently from 1980.

 Posted:   Sep 22, 2021 - 5:07 PM   
 By:   McCrutchy   (Member)

According to CAM Sugar on Facebook, the remastered and expanded CD version came out last Friday:

1. Città viva
2. Madre assente
3. Campi aperti e sospesi
4. Double Face
5. Esecuzione radiofonica
6. Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto
7. Sotto i ponti della città
8. Per Dalila
9. Stranamente di notte
10. Cinque quarti
11. Madre assente # 2
12. Stranamente un giorno
13. Sotto i ponti della città # 2
14. Per Dalila # 2
15. Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto # 2
16. Città viva # 2
17. Madre assente # 3
18. Stranamente di notte # 2
19. Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto # 3
20. Sotto i ponti della città # 3

I took the tracklist from Music Box Records' listing. According to Spotify, the total run time is 48:32.

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2023 - 9:21 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I'm resurrecting this old thread because last week I was in HMV in Glasgow, saw this, and bought it. I have to say I'm DELIGHTED I did so, because I absolutely LOVE IT!

First off, some dry and boring info/queries - The one I got is a digipack release from 2021, on the Decca label. I think this was "licensed out" or something, but it has exactly the same content as the Beat release from 2013. The only difference is that the Decca has 20 tracks and the earlier Beat has 12 plus 8 tracks. I'll explain that. The 2013 release has what I imagine to be the main body of the score as the first 12 tracks The remaining 8 tracks are classed as bonus material. There's also a recent CAM/Sugar LP out, which I imagine again duplicates the material.

But anyway, while I LOVE this score, I felt that after about half an hour it began repeating itself. I think I might follow the Beat sequencing and play the first 12 tracks in one go, leaving the other 8 for another moment. As I say, on the Decca, although the sequencing is actually the same as on the Beat, I had no indication that the last 8 tracks were originally released as "bonus material". Except for....

...the fact that, as with so many European Morricone CDs, there's a plethora of "Versione 1", "Versione 2", Versione 3", Versione 4"... and you can add a bit of nausea if you please. I'm not sure about this particular score, but I get the feeling that in some cases these "other takes" are merely edited versions of the longest one, with no real new material at all. But I could be wrong. There could be an added triangle on some of the bonus versiones. You tell me. It does mean that I often do these CDs in two sittings.

But now to the interesting part, the part you've all been waiting for.... My comments on THE MUSIC! This is Brillo Pads, man! Y'know, I think the Dave Brubeck thing has been exaggerated. The only thing I hear in common with Brubeck is that some of the score is in 5/4 tempo, the same as the famous Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond "Take Five". Pianist Enrico Pieranunzi mentions that common denominator in his "liner notes" (really a piece of blue cardboard on the digiepack). But there the similarity ends. The musicianship on those pure jazz tracks is magnificent. A lot of jazz improvisation is on display, but it's more structured than freeform jazz. The notes even imply that Moriicone was there conducting the jazz trio.

AND FINALLY Esther, AND FINALLY Cyril, a big nod of approval to the Duke of Poncedom's comments from decades ago, equating the more aggressive big band jazz with Jerry Fielding of all people. I had exactly the same thought, although it wasn't THE KILLER ELITE which came to mind, but rather THE ENFORCER and THE BIG SLEEP. I know that Tall Guy loves Fielding and THE ENFORCER, so I'm surprised he didn't jump in two decades ago to say how brilliant you were at making that connection, Poncey. Perhaps he will now. There is actually a bit of those other Bandits in the score, the ones from Rome, but I hear Fielding more than anyone. I never thought I'd ever write those two names on the same line, but there ya go.

This is a great CD, and if you don't like it, you're wrong.

P.S. - McCrutchy's previous post to mine shows the same CD track listing and cover as my "Decca" didgeridoo.

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2023 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

I was going to comment a bit earlier but I fell asleep while reading the previous post. Anyway now I am refreshed.
I recently bought the cam/ decca cardboard one. I'd only had the twofer, with tre donne (correva?) on also. I think I held off for a while but am glad I finally bought it. Its certainly different but infectious if a bit repetitive.

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2023 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I was going to comment a bit earlier but I fell asleep while reading the previous post

You have the attention span of

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2023 - 11:10 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

The attention span of a postman.

Attention span of a rabbit.

Span of postman's rabbit.

Rabbit postman.

 Posted:   Feb 17, 2023 - 11:17 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

Er, sorry, what was that? Yawn, I'm off again.

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