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La ragazza dalla pelle di luna

Piero Umiliani

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Album Review

This is the soundtrack for a 1970 Italian film that played out the romantically charged story of a couple coming apart against a sultry tropical island locale. Fittingly, composer Piero Umiliani's score mixes jazzy romanticism with strong tropical rhythms to create a score that is both lush and exotic. It is built on one main theme, "Pelle Di Luna," a hypnotic tune that is seductive and bittersweet all at once. This theme is repeated through the majority of the cues. This could have resulted in a dull score, but Umiliani makes it work because he consistently takes the theme in new and interesting musical directions through imaginative arrangements; the many forms it takes on include an acoustic guitar theme with chorus, a solo organ piece, a mellow instrumental built on steel guitar, and a full orchestral version that mixes layers of the vocal chorus over swirling strings. A few non-theme instrumentals are thrown in for variety — the highlights in this arena are "Danza Del Fuoco," a percussion-driven instrumental that pushes the score's exotica elements to the fore, and "Seyga Seyga," a rock instrumental built on heavy fuzz guitar riffs. However, La Ragazza Pelle Di Luna ultimately wears out its welcome as an album despite the high quality of the musicianship because it simply goes on too long. As with many Easy Tempo soundtrack reissues, this album contains every scrap of music composed for the film. While this may please completists, it doesn't necessarily make for a smooth album experience; hearing 70 minutes of the same theme is going to eventually become dull, no matter how good it is. Some judicious editing would have made this a much a better album. Despite this problem, La Ragazza Pelle Di Luna remains a solid and generous soundtrack album that delivers enough of the goods to make it worthwhile for fans of loungy soundtracks. ~ Donald A. Guarisco, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1926 in Florence, Italy

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Along with composers Piero Piccioni, Riz Ortolani, and Armando Sciascia, Piero Umiliani is one of the unsung heroes of soundtrack music. Incorporating styles like jazz, easy listening/lounge, rock, funk, and bossa nova to a genre largely dominated by orchestral scores, he penned some of...
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La ragazza dalla pelle di luna, Piero Umiliani
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