The Italian Maestro Outlasts Giallo Celluloid, Triumphs Over El Presidente


It’s inexcusable to mention Ipecac’s el presidente Mike Patton alongside the maestro, Ennio Morricone (as John Zorn does in the liner notes), unless it’s to co-sign paychecks. Same could go for Zorn, who did his own al dente bite of the man on 1984’s The Big Gundown. But why grumble when the brain-eating acid guitar bursts forth on Crime and Dissonance, another multiple-disc set that rehashes little of A Fistful of Film Music or Mondo Morricone (meaning no The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly but absolutely no trace of that middle quality either). Ennio not only outlasts the lumiére of such scored-film fare but still overshadows both his contemporaries and his bambinos.

Themes outshag and swingle far beyond bachelor-pad sound beds, but of course, yet also evoke both kinds of stilettos. And “Esplicitamente Sospeso” slithers with amplified dread better than any scrapey, scary noise ensemble. “Un Uomo da Rispettare” ‘s solemn pageantry suggests Miles Davis working with Gil Evans in the drugged bleakness of 1973, while 1981’s “Fumeria D’Oppio” predates the eloquence of Zorn’s Masada songbook by two decades. Meaning both justice and harmony are also served.

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