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To-Day's Sound

Piero Umiliani

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Album Review

Although he is best known for lounge-oriented film scores like Svezia Inferno E Paradiso and Angeli Bianchi...Angeli Neri, Italian composer Piero Umiliani was also a prolific composer of easy listening pop. His finest effort in this vein was To-Day's Sound, a 1971 instrumental double album. This adventurous undertaking manages to justify its length by dishing up 21 tight, punchy instrumentals that mix lounge, jazz, easy listening, and pop hooks in equal measure. To-Day's Sound is also notable because it incorporates the then-new Moog synthesizer into a large number of its tracks. Indeed, the fast-paced samba of "Caretera Panamerica" and the mellow jazziness of "Coast to Coast" get added sonic kick from the thick but artfully integrated synthesizer textures that layer their arrangements. Another one of the Moog-oriented tunes, "Lady Magnolia," has become a favorite of remixers on the modern lounge music scene thanks to its effective combination of funky rhythms and bubbly synthesizer lines. The non-electronic compositions prove to be just as ear-pleasing as the Moog-oriented ones: "Green Valley" wraps mellow guitar and organ lines around a fat groove from the rhythm section and "Safari Club" layers airy flute and soulful organ riffs over a light samba rhythm. There is also a strong funk edge to a number of the tracks: "Truck Driver" and "Railroad" both layer wah-wah guitars and rippling keyboard work over rumbling basslines. All in all, To-Day's Sound is a stunning and beautifully crafted album that is guaranteed to please lounge enthusiasts and an ideal choice for anyone interested in the work of Piero Umiliani. ~ 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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To-Day's Sound, Piero Umiliani
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