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A bona fide piece of Italian cool, that every film and jazz fan will want to own.


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Posted September 30, 2021 by

 
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Ennio Morricone was the king of the iconic soundtrack. From his cheeky, instantly recognisable opening wavering notes of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly to the ominous tones of his pared-down The Thing score, Morricone lent his talent to over 70 films in a career that spanned almost every genre.

Il Bandito Dagli Occhi Azzurri aka The Blue-Eyed Bandit saw Morricone step into the world of jazz-improv, with a score whose 5/4 time and rolling scope, perfectly matched the thrilling atmosphere of the film. In the exclusive liner notes to the reissue, Jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi notes that: “It was only when I approached the piano and saw the sheet music on the stand that I began to understand. The pieces were mainly in 5/4 – the tempo made famous by the acclaimed Take Five by Paul Desmond and Dave Brubeck.”

Set in the city of Genoa, where the Italian riviera charm meets the industrial inner-city grittiness, The Blue-Eyed Bandit tells the story of a bank robbery whose mastermind—played by Franco Nero—was to become one of the famous faces in Italian cinema.

Morricone’s choice of a nervous, dynamic jazz score proved to be a genius decision, both adding to the film’s dramatic tension, and driving the action forward. At the same time, the pieces reflect the traditionally cool and quirky nature of Italian poliziottesco dramas. The main theme ‘Città Viva’ is a typical example of the end result—a vibrant, metropolitan jazz piece, beautifully arranged for a big band which included Morricone’s longtime friend and collaborator Enrico Pieranunzi at the piano, Roberto Gatto on drums and Riccardo Del Fra on double bass. The distinctive Americana bop influence that runs through their performaces can be traced back to the fact that the trio had just finished working with jazz colossus Chet Baker.

After being out of production since 1982, CAM Sugar and Decca Records have just re-released this absolute classic for old and new fans to enjoy. 

Available on CD, LP, and digital platforms, The Blue-Eyed Bandit has been remastered from the original master tapes and enriched by a new artwork by Eric Adrian Lee. The result is a bona fide piece of Italian cool, that every film and jazz fan will want to own. 

‘The Blue-Eyed Bandit’ – LP tracklist:  

1 – Città Viva
2 – Madre Assente
3 -Campi Aperti e Sospesi
4 – Double Face
5 – Esecuzione Radiofonica
6 – Per Dalila
7 – Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto
8 – Sotto i Ponti della Città
9 – Stranamente di Notte
10 – Cinque Quarti
11 – Madre Assente 2
12 – Stranamente un Giorno
13 – Città Viva 2
14 – Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto (Alt. Take)

 ‘The Blue-Eyed Bandit’ – CD / Digital tracklist:  

1 – Città Viva
2 – Madre Assente
3 -Campi Aperti e Sospesi
4 – Double Face
5 – Esecuzione Radiofonica
6 – Per Dalila
7 – Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto
8 – Sotto i Ponti della Città
9 – Stranamente di Notte
10 – Cinque Quarti
11 – Madre Assente 2
12 – Stranamente un Giorno
13 – Sotto i Ponti della Città 2
14 – Per Dalila 2
15 – Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto 2
16 – Madre Assente 3
17 – Città Viva 2
18 – Stranamente di Notte 2
19  Per Enrico, Riccardo e Roberto 3
20 – Sotto i Ponti della Città 3

The Blue-Eyed Bandit is available to listen to and order here.


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

 
Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com


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