Thursday, July 2, 2009

Book Excerpt of the Day

Ennio Morricone’s Gli Occhi Freddi Della Paura (Cold Eyes of Fear, ’71) features Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, an improvisation ensemble founded in ’64 and made up entirely of composers. It also explores dissonant sounds but displays a more aggressive avant-garde jazz style. On “Seguita,” busy drums and walking bass provide an anchor for wah guitar and electronically enhanced trumpet interplay worthy of Bitches’ Brew-era Miles Davis. Morricone may be the trumpeter. Elsewhere, one can hear such bizarre sounds as ashtrays in pianos, bowed cymbals, scraping metal alongside the more typical but still jarring jittery horns and string drones. Although Cold Eyes’ cacophonous and abstract sounds discourage casual listening, its strong jazz and psychedelic aspects will engage listeners who are more attuned to experimental, exploratory music genres. No self-respecting avant-garde music or Morricone fan should be without a copy.

– from Chapter 6: A Fearful Earful of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979

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