Paesaggi (with 1980 cover)
Finally putting an end to a long wait for library music lovers, Four Flies Records is proud to present the first reissue of Piero Umiliani’s Paesaggi – a record that, despite remaining for many years pretty obscure compared to other titles in the maestro’s discography, is now regarded by collectors and experts as the gold standard in Italian library music.
Originally released in two versions with different sleeves, the first on Liuto Records in 1971 and the second on Ciak Record in 1980, the album features tracks composed by the maestro himself (under his alias Zalla) and performed by the legendary super-group of Italian session players I Marc 4, this time with Angelo Baroncini instead of Carlo Pes on guitars (which probably explains the name being spelled with a ‘k’ instead of a ‘c’ on the album cover).
The Italian word paesaggi means “landscapes”, and that is exactly what the music in the album has been designed to evoke – a journey of moods and emotions, through exotic and pastoral scenery, with loungey sounds that caress your ears like the song of an enchanted nightingale. Mysterious yet captivatingsoundscapes transport you to a faraway and peaceful place, possibly somewhere in rural Asia. While listening to the record, you’ll feel as if you are sitting under a pavilion, right in the middle of a tea plantation, enjoying a freshly brewed green tea and watching the calm sunset.
In addition, Paesaggi is paradigmatic of Italian library music and its genre-defying nature. By using a multitude of instruments, such as flute, vibraphone, harpsichord, sitar, gong and others, it brings together a variety of arrangements, styles, and genres spanning from bossa nova to jazz, easy listening to psychedelic, Latin, exotica, and many more.
Under Umiliani’s brilliant direction, the pianos and keyboard instruments of Antonello Vannucchi, the guitars of Angelo Baroncini, the bass of Maurizio Majorana, and the drums of Roberto Podio dance together and – enriched by other instruments played by top session musicians like Bruno Battisti D’Amario (sitar), Franco De Gemini (harmonica), or Franco Chiari (vibraphone)- create the sound that makes Paesaggi so unique.
With the honour of reissuing this masterpiece so many decades since its release comes a responsibility to do full justice to one of the greatest Italian composers of the 20th century and his now celebrated legacy. Four Flies have done their best to put out a record that replicates as closely as possible the value of the original as a cultural artefact, providing Italian library connoisseurs and novices alike with an exquisite sonic, and tactile, experience.