Among the greatest director-composer duets in the history of Cinema stands the 13 films Francesco Rosi/ Piero Piccioni collaboration.
In 2011, thanks, to the late Mr Rosi’s son, Jason, and Claudio Fuiano, a master in digging out soundtrack jewels for restoration, an anthology containing three soundtracks from this fruitful association was born.
The first part is spent on Piccioni’s Jazz attitude completed with his sense for the symphonic and his iconic use of the bass, with 17 tracks from Le Mani Sulla Citta’/ Hands over the City (1963), the classic starring Rod Steiger. It offers tension filled themes and quieter lounge moments.
In addition, two amazing suites follow:
The 15 minutes suite taken from Salvatore Giuliano (1962) still fill the great link between his jazz mastery and the symphonic but with folk elements, notably the marranzano (Jaw harp a la Sicilian). It creates an aura of mystery and overall dark ambiance and shows the great quality and beautiful complexity of his writing that made his trademark and earned him the Film makers trust.
With the 20 minutes suite from Il Caso Mattei/ The Mattei Affair (1972), a film starring the great Gian Maria Volonte, we are in for a treat. With his capacity for writing difficult music it is not often (to my knowledge) that Mr Piccioni went into electronic minimalism… And it is explosive stuff. A continuous deep, resonant sound slowly evolving, leading in its final moments to his first love: Jazz. If there was any doubts left about his sheer genius this would be his final answer as he could be credited as a godfather of techno, from 1972.
Mr Piccioni, you got the Mojo. Respect!