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Sangue di sbirro

A 14 track film soundtracks album (36m 38s) — released June 22nd 2018 on Four Flies

FLIES 15 - Alessandro Alessandroni | SANGUE DI SBIRRO (Bloody Avenger)

Gatefold LP 180 gr. | inner sleeve with original movie artwork

Perhaps not everyone knows that Alessandro Alessandroni, the Master of Italian library music, had also composed several original soundtracks from late '60s to early '80s, especially for many "genre" movies such as poliziotteschi, sexy comedies, spaghetti western, horror and thriller. Among them, Sangue di sbirro (Bloody Avenger), is certainly one of the most prestigious works made for Italian cinema in the 70s: an Italian noir set in Philadelphia, where the jazz-funk library's background of the Maestro meets deep soul & black music. An obstinate rhythm which opens to jazz, funk and disco, with moments of pure easy listening (Tema di Susie is one of the best Alessandroni's film themes). Sounds and arrangements typical of blaxploitation (including an original reinterpretation of Shaft's theme) but with a proudly Italian's touch.

As always, many excellent soloists, including a young Enrico Pieranunzi on Fender Rhodes, Dino Piana on trombone and Silvano Chimenti on the electric guitar.

A five stars soundtrack for the first time ever on your turntable.

Music composed and arranged by Alessandro Alessandroni

If there was ever a composer who best embodied the essence of Italian sound in the decade between the sixties and the seventies, it is without a doubt Alessandro Alessandroni. He is a musician of exceptional eclecticism – a guitarist and multi- instrumentalist who is not only well-known around the world as "the whistler" (thanks to the western movies of Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone's soundtracks), but also as the leader of I Cantori Moderni – one of the most important Italian vocal groups in the field of movie soundtracks and pop music tracks of that period.

Alessandroni is also universally recognized as one of the most important figures in Italian library music. The first important album of background music produced in Italy, in fact, bears his name on it – 1968's mythical Sermi SP 110 (with the legendary blue butterfly on red background on the cover). It was this LP that provided the impetus to the massive and unrestrained market that subsequently developed in Italy for background music used in movies, radio and television. A market where Alessandroni was an absolute leader.

With a curriculum vitae like this, it may seem strange that his production as a soundtrack composer has yet to be explored. Unlike other colleagues, whom have become famous for their film scores, Alessandroni's international consideration is linked more to his work for library music than to his work as a composer for the many Italian "genre movies" he worked on (horror, westerns, erotica, thriller, comedy, spy, etc.).

Among his vast production of scores, still partially unknown, Sangue di Sbirro (Bloody Avenger) is certainly one of his most prestigious works. It is a score that perfectly describes the pulp-noir atmosphere of the film – expressly intended by the film's director, Alfonso Brescia (who here uses the pseudonym Al Bradley, as he had done in his previous spaghetti westerns a few years earlier).

For the soundtrack, Brescia / Bradley specifically asked Alessandroni to create a theme similar to Isaac Hayes' theme for Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971), which was awarded an Oscar in 1972.

As a result, Alessandroni composed his own instrumental reinterpretation of the theme. He added a touch of African flavor throughout the soundtrack, incorporating elements of the jazz-funk groove of his contemporary library works with black soul music. The result is an impressive achievement for the efficacy and freedom of composition: an obstinate rhythm,

tight and sharp, which opens to jazz, funk, and disco, with moments of pure easy listening, all while representing his signature sound ("Susie's Theme" has been recorded in two versions: one instrumental and one whistled). Sounds and arrangements may be a nod to America, but the performance, soul, and groove are proudly Italian.

It's always amazing to think how many excellent soloists of the time were used in those years for the various recording sessions of film soundtracks – among them, a young Enrico Pieranunzi at the piano, and Silvano Chimenti on the electric guitar. These two artists gave birth to the group Pulsar Music Ltd., with the specific goal of playing their own soundtracks for the movie industry (Milano violenta is their masterpiece). Lest we forget, we cannot acknowledge the musical talent of the time without mentioning the great trombone maestro Dino Piana – a historical member of the RAI orchestra who was considered one of the spiritual fathers of Italian jazz.

Legend has it that all this happened during a single day of recording on November 15th, 1976 in Ortophonic Studios in Rome, under the supervision of Sergio Marcotulli. Moreover, it seems that during this session much more material than was needed had been registered. The same material that would later become, together with some pieces used in Sangue di Sbirro, Alessandroni's LP UST 370 Caratteristici Vari (edited by Edizioni Usignolo). As is commonplace in Italian music library production, one follows the "pig's rule" and does not throw anything away.

Pierpaolo De Sanctis, Andrea Fabrizii

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