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Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/Joey Baron: Play Morricone 2

The emergence of pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has been one of the significant recent events in jazz. His Fellini Jazz was one of the surprise jazz recordings of 2003. It revealed that 50-year-old movie music could provide uncommonly fresh, fertile starting points for jazz improvisation. It could, that is, if it was composed by Nino Rota for the films of Federico Fellini, was arranged by Enrico Pieranunzi, and was played by an all-star band containing talent like Kenny Wheeler, Chris Potter, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian.

Morricone 2 is Pieranunzi’s second album dedicated to the scores of Italy’s other great film composer. Ennio Morricone’s twangy soundtracks to Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti westerns” of the late ’60s made him a cult figure. But Morricone’s filmography is vast and diverse, containing more than 400 titles. For Morricone 2, Pieranunzi uses music from mostly lesser-known films by European directors like Henry Verneuil, Lina Wertmuller and Paolo Cavara.

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