May 29, 2021

Gianni Oddi – Style (1974, LP, Italy)

Lato 1
1 Moda D'Estate 2:58
2 Popoff  3:41
3 Dedicato A Twiggy 2:26
4 Notte A Bagdad 2:37
5 Fine Di Un Amore 3:48
6 Torte In Faccia 1:47

Lato 2
1 Chanel N°7 3:47
2 Una Giornata A Rio 2:20
3 Kimono Pop 3:28
4 Sfilata All'Hilton 3:55
5 Omertà 2:20

Style, released in 1974, was the last album issued under composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Gianni Oddi's leadership. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Ennio Morricone as his principal soloist on saxophone. This album was privately issued by RCA Italy as a sound library recording; its compositions were to be leased by cinema and television productions and in commercials. While it was a common practice for independent labels, many of whose stock in trade was library music, RCA Italy only did it for a few years. Despite the contract purpose to create tunes to be used as soundtrack and serial material, on Style, Oddi delivers a masterwork in the genre; every tune fits its companions like the fingers in a glove. Writing charts that utilized the best in spiritual and mainstream creative jazz, Indian modalism, funk, and psychedelic rock, Oddi crystallized not only the library music era's peak, but the sound of early-'70s Italy in particular. It's there in the groovy Euro bossa on opener "Moda d'Estate," with its languid guitars, percolating berimbau, and a reverbed harpsichord among its keyboards. "Popoff" is heavy wah-wah guitar, distorted bass, and conga funk, with funky Rhodes piano and breakbeats all accompanied by a tight yet soaring horn section. A Middle Eastern groove woven by cellos, violins, winds, double bass, and careening tablas saturates "Notte a Bagdad," capped off by an outside saxophone solo. "Fine di un Amore" is lithe, languid bossa jazz, with luminous strings, spacy Rhodes, and shimmering hand-brushed percussion. "Torte in Faccia" is campy pop-psych ragtime with harpsichords, synths, toy pianos, guitars, and a one-two snare drum pop. While it's the weakest tune here, it's a fine precursor to "Chanel N.7," a sensual, atmospheric jazz tune, with lovely flute and gorgeous interplay between sparkling electric piano and resonant vibraphone. The fiery psychedelic samba on "Una Giornato a Rio" is answered by tripped-out jazzy funk on "Kimono Pop." Style is a stone killer top to bottom; it's a fitting sendoff to Oddi's years as a bandleader. A thorough, painstaking remaster has been reissued in Schema's Easy Series imprint with excellent sound. (Thom Jurek)

1 comment:

centraldoprog said...