"A leading figure in the Italian Jazz scene, Francesco 'Cicci' Santucci worked as trumpeter in the legendary Rai TV orchestra for over 20 years. He was renowned for collaborations with such international jazz legends as Lionel Hampton, Gato Barbieri, and Kenny Clarke – that is until his foray into the avant-garde progressive experience of The Living Music, a project founded by his brother Umberto. During these same years, he took part in important Italian jazz sessions like "Looking Around", "Mondo Operaio", and "On The Underground Road", with his close colleague Enzo Scoppa.
It was just around this period of great music production and experimentation that Cicci founded his own label, the New Tape, in the very early '70s. His goal was to dedicate himself to composing library music with a new expression of music, less linked to hard bop or American standards, but rather more focused on the new sounds of the time that brought the listener closer to modern vibes, like jazz-rock and avant-garde music. "Mixed Grill" opens this series, composed by the maestro's alias, 'Girosan', along with Lesiman (a.k.a. Paolo Renosto) who added a more esoteric and captivating atmosphere, closer to English progressive rock. "Rengran Mix" and "Tropical" follow, with music by Paolo Renosto and the old avant-garde connoisseur, Romolo Grano. This work gave way to electronic instrumentation and weird experimentation, and was built on a rich rhythmical carpet – tropical percussions, rock and blues inspired vibes, sleazy psych, and jazz improvisations. Music from “Rengran Mix” was also used as the soundtrack for the TV programme "Futili Motivi", and also featured the great backing sound of I Marc 4 with the accompaniment of Nora Orlandi's warm vocals.
The trademark of the label, and the most important production, is the fourth album, "Mirage" by Cicci Santucci and Enzo Scoppa themselves. This record is an explosive mix of elegant jazz, funk, and psychedelia, where every instrument finds its expressive space. We can clearly hear the connection on both the 'On the Underground Road' and 'Looking Around' albums, recorded that same year, bringing that unmistakable underground jazz dopeness typical of the magical duo of Santucci and Scoppa. The last album of the series is "Appunti Di Guerra" by the mysterious 'Ruscigan' – a very obscure alias which probably belongs to Renosto and Guido Baggiani. This work features complex and dramatic sounds properly composed for war scenes and gloomy atmospheres, with a large assortment of percussion, distorted effects, and tape manipulation – an album that foreshadowed what would become industrial music.
With a ridiculously small pressing of only 100 copies per title, New Tape is among the most interesting discoveries to date in terms of original production library music, and as a result, a very respectable journey begins inside the creative underground jazz of 1970s."
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