A compilation exploring the explosion of jazz into the late '50s and '60s Italian cinema Unearthing rare and previously unreleased tracks by Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni, Armando Trovajoli, Riz Ortolani and many more Featuring Chet Baker, Gato Barbieri Gianni Basso, Oscar Valdambrini, Nunzio Rotondo, and many more. For a whole decade, spanning between the second half of the ‘50s and the second half of the ‘60s, jazz took over the Italian screens. The Californian be-bop rhythms, filtered and reinterpreted in a typical Mediterranean key, became the perfect soundtrack to the Italy of the economic boom; the quintessential music for a country that was sailing through a moment of profound and exciting industrial, social and cultural renovation.
A nation that was rapidly shedding its skin, changing its style, look and identity, but also its landscape, letting itself go to the inebriation of the economic miracle. The compilation was conceived like a sonic stream, a journey of discovery carefully sequenced from hundreds of soundtracks from the golden age of Italian jazz contained in the CAM Sugar archive. 33 tracks that go beyond music, telling the story of Italian cinema, society and of its unmistakable style and charm. A genre that even when nodding to Californian be-bop, to crime jazz or bossa nova still sounds surprisingly original and Mediterranean, elegant, and seductive, either with joyous peaks (the scat of I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni or of I 4+4 di Nora Orlandi) or with enigmatic and nearly dramatic nuances (La strega in amore by Luis Bacalov, Il batticuore by Marcello Gigante).
The compilation also offers a precious insight into the Italian jazz scene of the times, with its string of formidable soloists like Gianni Basso (sax) and Oscar Valdambrini (trumpet), two Piedmontese men on duty for the RAI television orchestra conducted by Armando Trovajoli; like Nunzio Rotondo (trumpet) a legendary and elusive figure who had a special bond with Piero Piccioni; or like Enrico Rava (trumpet), Franco D'Andrea (piano) and Gegé Munari (drums) who often recorded with Piero Umiliani. Not to forget international stars like Chet Baker and Gato Barbieri, who were often fortuitously dragged into the recording sessions also thanks to Umiliani’s never-ending curiosity.