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First 200 on Mixed Colours Vinyl. Rome was, of course, the pulsing heart of Italian library music – it is the place where tv and movies are made, so editors and musicians tend to gather there. But we must not forget what was happening in the library music world, at the same time, in Milan – where there was a very active music industry, but leaning more on the pop and jazz side.
The Roman style was more connected to the classic and orchestral tradition, but the musicians from Milan adopted a more urban and international approach, in the vein of contemporary pop with some US jazz-funk instrumental deviations. It’s not a coincidence that among the most active artists in the library world we find people who – in the Seventies and Eighties – played in many records by Mina, Fabrizio De André, Gaber, Branduardi and Fausto Papetti.
The quartet featuring pianist Oscar Rocchi, bassist Gigi Cappellotto, drummer Andy Surdi and guitarist Ernesto Verardi is behind many great library music albums from the golden age, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel.
“Crazy Colours” (originally marketed in 1979 via BAM label, credited to the New Sound Quartet), is quite a big effort for a library music album, since it features a whole orchestra to back the quartet and soloist Hugo Heredia (always present on sax and flute in the albums by the four musicians).
In these eight tracks, orchestral disco music is the main focus: in the vein of late Seventies, the biggest influences are to be found in Quincy Jones and Barry White. But the future is already there, since a few synths can be heard in the mix. To this landscape, Rocchi, Cappellotto, Surdi and Verardi add their personality, their experience in the pop field and the love for jazz – all with that peculiar Italian feel.