Rome was, of course, the pulsating 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, 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 in 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, most of which released via the labels owned by Edizioni Minstrel.
“Horoscope” was released in 1978, in a few hundred out of commerce copies, credited to Modern Sound Quartet (one of the many monikers used by the band), on Ring label. This album is a manifesto of the band’s style, using the concept of horoscope and zodiac signs to lay down a dozen of tracks perfectly reflecting their age: a good dose of disco (“Lion”, “Aries”, “Sagittarius”, “Scorpion”, “Gemini”), a hint of melodic pop (“Virgin”, “Balance”), a touch of prog (“Fishes”, “Cancer”), some light jazz-funk fusion (“Capricorn”) and b-movie atmospheres (“Acquarius”, “Taurus”).