When I turned on the BBC radio early this morning, already past lunchtime in the UK, it was announced that Ennio Morricone had passed. A legend for film and music, Ennio was age 91.
You might wonder why I’d mark his passing here? Apart from being an absolute legend especially of the same era as many of Creed Taylor’s best productions, many of which were often compared to film scores, or rather soundtracks looking for a film, there is a direct tie between Ennio Morricone and CTI.
In 1971, Morricone scored the Henri Verneuil film Le Casse (in English, The Burglars) with Jean Paul Belmondo and Dyan Cannon. Astrud Gilberto sang two songs on the soundtrack, “Argomenti” and “Una Donna Che Ti Ama,” both co-composed and accompanied by “Ennio Morricone e la sua Orchestra.”
These songs were not included on the original soundtrack, issued in Italy on (the American) Bell label. But they were issued on an Italian-only CTI 45 (TC 9702) – as Astrud was a CTI artist at the time. Both songs were produced not by Creed but by Italo Greco, a noted Italian producer. The tracks also turn up on later re-issues including the Limited Edition, 2015 Music Box Record CD, issued in France.
Astrud Gilberto also recorded both songs in Spanish. They turn up on a Spanish version of “Astrud Gilberto with Turrentine” issued in 2002. All four of the Gilberto songs turn up on a Korean version of “Astrud Gilberto with Turrentine” issued in 2004.
Very much a footnote in the great composer’s oeuvre but a little hidden gem in the CTI legacy.
The Gilberto link to Morricone goes back to 1965. On Astrud’s album, “The Shadow Of Your Smile“, the final track on the second side is Morricone and Brandt’s “Funny World (Theme From “Malamondo”)” on Verve, produced by Creed Taylor. The original version on the film soundtrack was sung by Ken Coleman.
I am, as always, in the debt of Doug Payne.