Here’s to you,
Ennio Morricone

Sound the trumpets and pass the barolo! Ennio Morricone continues to make music at 83!

I’ve been a fan of Ennio Morricone’s for over 10 years. It all started with the blaring war cry from the beginning of the 1966 Burt Reynolds vehicle, Navajo Joe. And then I discovered the spaghetti western. But Morricone’s meta extends beyond Leone, Eastwood, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Vinyl lovers will attest to his greatness.

With the rise of vinyl sales and online dealers, Morricone’s music can make sound Easter egg fodder as you search for his original compositions or remixes. He’s worked with DC-born disco singer, Amii Stewart (Le Professional, Bulworth) and Joan Baez (Sacco e Vanzetti). Morricone music has a double life in the world of vinyl and digital.

Abraxas Records, a label based in Morricone’s native Italy, has been within recent years releasing vinyl reissues of Morricone’s lesser known works. Escalation from 1968 almost sounds like a rock rendition of Mozart. The Italian composer reworks “Dies Irae” with powerhouse frets and electric note bending.  Many famous composers and musicians would have had to live several times to match Morricone’s body of work. Like Sergei Prokofiev (Peter and the Wolf), Morricone took an instrument, made a melody from it, then attributed the tune to a character or theme.

His influence on film compositions is unparalleled. Before his work was being scratched by DJs, Morricone was using mento (early reggae) motifs and electric guitar in his film and easy-listening compositions.

To another year, Mr. Morricone. Keep making music!

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