Label: Four Flies
Format: Vinyl LP
12” Limited Edition (orange cover)
Genre: Afro / Cosmic / Soundtrack
• Alessandro Alessandroni is one of the legendary composers and musicians that shaped the characteristic sound of Italian soundtrack of the 60s and 70s
• This EP contains unreleased music composed and produced by Alessandro Alessandroni in the 70s, taken from a dusty tape found in his vault
• The Maestro is best known as “The most famous whistle in the history of Cinema” (it was him on the theme of the famous Spaghetti Western “A Fistful of Dollars”) and as the voice of Piero Umiliani’s classic “Mah-nà mah-nà”
• Afro Discoteca strikes immediately for its modernity and rich textures, sounding unbelievably contemporary.
Four Flies Records is back in full force, this time with an EP that looks at the more sophisticated and modern dancefloor… The Italian label embarked on another journey of rediscovery, a specialty they seem to master.
The destination of this trip was a dusty vault in Africa, where a famous Italian musician moved years ago… The Italian film and TV industry provided in the 60s and 70s countless opportunity for talented musicians to compose and produce a rich variety of music: soundtracks, library music, experimental music – an infinite amount of recordings that still represents a paradise for the most curious and passionate diggers.
So here we have the proof that there’s still lot to discover. Alessandro Alessandroni is one of those pioneers, a maestro that built the legend of Italian soundtracks and library music along with Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and many others. His vault testifies how prolific had been those times, with hundreds of tapes and obscure recordings from that period. Among the many, a dusty tape bearing the hand-written label “Afro Discoteca” captured the attention of Four Flies.
The music contained in the tape had never been released until now.
When he listened to the tracks, Italian legendary DJ LEO MAS (one of the undisputed inventors of the Balearic sound) told us: “It is surprising to listen to something that sounds so modern… This EP is the perfect union of Afro influences and Italian taste. There’s something Afro lounge here but also incredibly cinematic – it makes me think of John Carpenter’s atmospheres. B1 (Afrodiscoteca) reminds me of clubs I’ve been in Malindi in the late 70s and the closing track is absolutely spellbinding. This is wonderful.”
PAOLO SCOTTI, head of Déjà vu Records and an authoritative Italian jazz expert said: “Alessandroni’s contribution to music is huge, he’s a great musician and a great experimenter. Afrodiscoteca sounds like it’s been produced yesterday by a DJ of our times, an absolutely surprising EP and proof of Alessandroni’s spontaneous genius!”
℗ 1978 Alessandro Alessandroni
© 2017 Four Flies Records
Remastered from original master tapes
Previously unreleased on every format
More about Alessandro Alessandroni
Alessandroni grew up in the town of Soriano nel Cimino, 40 miles north of Rome. The family Barbershop was a gathering place for local musicians. “We had instruments; guitar, mandolin and a mandola. We didn’t do much business. But we made a lot of music!”.
Today he is honoured for his major contribution to music which has come to characterize Italian cinema especially the scores of the Italian Western of Sergio Leone. As a young musician Alessandroni immersed himself in the musical folk tradition of his native region, Lazio. With the help of a friend who played the guitar, Alessandroni learned the basic chords. At 13 he bought his first mandolin and devoted much of his time to listening to classical music. It did not take long for him to master the mandolin. By the time he was in his last years of high school, he had formed a band and was playing at Saturday night dance events. He discovered he could earn a living out of playing an instrument, travel and learn more about music, “jumping from one influence to another”, he adds smiling, “from one instrument to the other”, accordion, guitar, bass tuba.
Then he discovered jazz… And the tenor sax. “That was my real introduction into the world of music…”. By chance, Alessandroni also discovered that he had an extraordinary capacity to whistle which he often incorporates into his performances. “Anybody can whistle” he says. “But it is a matter of having a big quantity of breath and a small quantity of sound” Not to mention the acute and perfect pitch. He toured Europe playing the piano and singing in clubs.
Sergio Leone spaghetti western “A fistful of dollars” (his distinctive, haunting whistle became the signature tune to the series of but despite his modesty, Alessandroni has been internationally acclaimed for his enormous contributions to the Italian cinema.
Alessandroni still favors string instruments, including those he first encountered at the barbershop, the mandolin and classical guitar. For him, their rich melodic tones have the unique ability to vibrate and resonate with the intimate complexities of the human heart. Alessandroni is also a virtuoso player of saxophone, sitar, accordion and keyboard. But as he says, “of all the instruments that I have played, there is always one I call my own, the guitar”, side that is gracefully reflected in his love of life, mischievous sense of humour, and, not least, in his music.
Returning to Italy, Alessandroni formed his own singing quartet “the four caravels” and performed on a popular national network television show called “Canzonissima”. His childhood friend Ennio Morricone invited him to collaborate on the score for director Westerns all’Italiana). His quartet expanded into a sixteen-member group renamed “I Cantori Moderni” (The modern Singers), who became known for their original sound and consummate professionalism. Alessandroni is preternaturally modest and is quick to give credit where credit is due, “I’m a performer, not a star… the stars are composers like Morricone…”.
Musically, Alessandro was and still is an unabashed romantic and an ardent fan of the 19th Century Russian composers. He believes their passion and soulful melancholia, so palpably reflected in their compositions, makes their music touch the deepest chords of the soul.
Alessandroni musical interests are similary wide ranging. He has an insatiable curiosity about the Kaleidoscopic aspects of music everywhere. His special gift is the ability to integrate musical influences from all over the world seamlessly into his compositions, arrangements and performances. This very serious musician with a quiet manner and understated elegance, also has a light-hearted.