In this installment of R4, I would like to take another listen to some albums released in the early 2000s,  before the proliferation of music stream services such as Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc.  Of course, while they are all available via stream these days, They just missed the initial stream train, so to speak.  Let’s take another ear to these gems.

 

Someway Still I Do – Alessandro Magnanini (Schema Records)

 

A magnificent OST to a movie yet to be made.

Alessandro Magnanini from Reggio Emilia, Italy.  Ever since he heard the opening strains of the Pink Panther as a child, his passion for music was born. Composer, producer, guitarist, Magnanini has his heart and ear close to jazz, bossa nova, cinema soundtracks and more. A student of jazz, Magnanini’s influences are many:  Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Henry Mancini, Ennio Morricone and Claus Ogerman among others.

In 2004 Magnanini co-wrote with Mario Biondi the European hit This Is What You Are, which was eventually included on Biondi’s equally successful 2006 release, Handful of Soul.

His success with This Is What You Are led to Magnanini’s 2009 solo debut Someway Still I Do.  The album is a rich, beautifully-crafted work, infused with pop, bossa nova, jazz and cinematic scores such as the John Barry/Shirley Bassey-inspired Open Up Your Eyes and Secret Lover featuring wonderful vocal performances by Sicily’s Jenny B (Giovanna Bersola. Vocalist of early 90s dance hit, Rhythm of the Night). The album also features some lovely, cinematic-style instrumentals which harken back to the era of Mancini, Morricone and Piccioni: the elegant and glamorous Greetings From Here and Blind Date Blues as well as the passionate, tangoesque,  Suddenly .

Magnanini also seems to draw inspiration from the great Harry Nilsson with songs such as the title track, Someway Still I Do,  and Livin’ My Life , both interpreted with the rich, soulful voice of Cousteau frontman, Liam McKahey.

This album also features some lovely bossa themes such as L’Estate È Qua (Summer Is Here)So Long, Goodbye, the uplifting Stay Into My Life and the elegant Something Fine.  

In addition to his lovely compositions, arrangements and production, Magnanini finds the perfect voices for his songs: Liam McKahey, Stefania Rava, Jenny BRosalia De Souza and Renata Tosi, each bringing their unique styles to the microphone, helping to create a capolavoro of a debut for Alessandro Magnanini.

Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Alessandro Magnanini
Backing Vocals – Alberto Carra, Renata Tosi, Stefania Rava
Banjo – Nicola Balestri
Double Bass – Pietro Ciancaglini
Drums – Alessandro Lugli (tracks: 1, 4, 7), Lorenzo Tucci
Electric Bass – Paolo Gialdi
Electric Piano [Fender Rhodes] – John Guerretti
Executive-Producer – Davide Rosa, Luciano Cantone
Layout – Olivia Morchio
Mastered By – George Marino, Giovanni Versari
Mixed By – Davide Rosa, Luca Pernici, Marco Borsatti
Percussion – Luca Florian, Oscar Abelli
Piano – Luca Mannutza
Tenor Saxophone – Daniele Scannapieco
Trombone – Giuseppe Di Benedetto (2)
Trumpet – Andrea Giuffredi
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Fabrizio Bosso
Vibraphone – Pasquale Bardaro
Written-By, Arranged By, Producer, Artwork – Alessandro Magnanini

 

Introducing Mark & Sally – Marcheselli Produzioni (Irma Records)

A reintroduction to Mark & Sally.

Marco and Paolo Marcheselli are sons of Leonildo Marcheselli, who aside from being father to Marco and Paolo, was also considered in the 1950s the father of a traditional folk music indigenous to Bologna, Italy called Filuzzi. The dance of Filuzzi is derived from many european styles such as il lisciomazurka, waltz and polka. The music, played with a variation of accordion known as the organetto bolognese.

Marco and Paolo carry the torch of their father, performing Filuzzi. Marco plays the organetto bolognese and Paolo, the guitar.

Paolo Marcheselli (guitar) and Marco Marcheselli (organetto) accompany dancers performing various dances, alla Filuzzi.

 

In 2000, the Marcheselli brothers released an album on the Irma Records label – Introducing Mark & Sally With Marco on the organetto, Paolo on guitar and keyboardist/electronic programmer, Marco Bertoni (Confusional Quartet & Makkaroni Circus), Introducing Mark & Sally steps away from the traditional Bolognese folk of Filuzzi and goes on a musical lounge adventure.

The journey is vast.  Sometimes dreamy and romantic, as in the opening track, Kokuhaku, (Confession) recited by Japanese-Italian artist Yumi Karasuamaru. Or in the bossa-flavored, Oslo Lounge.

Allo adds steamy to dreamy and romantic with a sexy Bardot-Gainsbourg inspired exchange featuring two amoureux – François and Beatrice – burning for each other.

But the album is also upbeat, lively and at times, quirky, with tunes such as Bengala Bay, Aonde Vais (Wherever You Go) and Ice Cubes.

Sauna Theme  is a great dance number, as well as Mr. Bill and DD&I  for those who love to dance to the unconventional.

Introducing Mark & Sally also includes a fantastic remix of Oslo Lounge by Italy’s kings of the modern lounge sound, Montefiori Cocktail. (a little less bossa, a little more tango and a lotta lounge…), as well as an unplugged (in Milan) version of Aonde Vais (Bahia Version).

In all, the album is a wonderful, original work from two musicians, who inspired by their father, carried on the unique musicality of the Marcheselli name and evolved with it, creating a nu-lounge sound.

 

 

Night Club Tropez – Sam Paglia (Irma Records)

A fresh take on old-school lounge.

In light of recent news that Sam Paglia will be releasing a new album in collaboration with Daniele Benati sometime this year in November-December (you can hear the first single from the upcoming album “Canzoni A Tradimento” [Songs of Betrayal] here: Una casa al mare ), I thought it would be fun to take a second listen to Paglia’s 2000 release, Night Club Tropez.

Sam Paglia comes from the city of Cesenatico in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Composer, lyricist, singer, pianist, keyboardist specializing in vintage Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Moog and Clavinet and master of the Hammond organ. Paglia finds inspiration from Italian cinema composers such as Piero Umiliani, Piero Piccioni and Armando Trovajoli as well as from legends such as Jimmy Smith and Quincy Jones.

Night Club Tropez has all the beauty, sound and texture of an old-school 60’s-70’s lounge show.  And the Hammond reigns supreme. From the title track (Dedicated to the great Italian comedian Alberto Sordi: “Sprechen sie Deutsch? NO?”) to the sexy Strip Tease Organ to the ultra-cool London Bossa and Continental ’70 to the rockin’ Low-Fi  to the surprising strings of Love Trap. And that’s just the tip of the Paglia iceberg. There are 18 killer lounge tracks in all on Night Club Tropez.

If you can’t get enough of the Paglia sound, there is much more. Check out: – B-Movie Heroes (1998), Killer Cha-Cha-Cha (2003),  Electric Happiness (2009) and The Last Organ Party (2012).

All killer organ party sounds filled with electric happiness. Paglia’s a lounge hero.

Hammond – Sam Paglia; Guitar and vocals – Checco Minotti; Drums – Simo Paglia. Dig it.

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