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Sunday, November 26, 2006

CD REVIEW - John Il Bastardo

John Il Bastardo
Music by Nico Fidenco & Gianni Dell'Orso
GDM 2075 (Italy)
19 Tracks 44:38 mins

As with yesterday's disc, this is another expanded edition of a score previously released on vinyl, adding a further 8 tracks to the original album's content.
This western from 1968 starred John Richardson and Martine Beswick and, like yesterday's disc, features two very likeable themes, though there is more variation in this score, with religious chorals, source piano and guitar tracks, and some dark and dissonant material, featuring dramatic chorals courtesy of I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni
The main theme, "Ballata di John," is first heard as a vocal by S. Moriones. His vocal starts off a bit directionless but then guitar joins in and it eventually gains momentum when orchestra and choir join in. It's a catchy, Mexican-flavoured theme, with Italian lyrics. The theme returns in instrumental variations throughout the subsequent tracks, sometimes keyboard-lead, sometimes in galloping fashion, like in the impressive "Ballata di John (orchestra 2)."
The secondary theme is a jolly little mover, again Mexican-flavoured, often introduced by an irritating 5-note cello motif. The theme is quite versatile. It can be comical, or seductive' like in the guitar-lead "Antonia." "Seduzione di Antonia," a lengthy track, presents variations on the theme, with cello and flute at times taking the lead.
I can't say I find this score as consistently likeable as yesterday's, but it still has a lot going for it, particularly if you are partial to the lighter side of Italian Western scoring.
Again, you should go to for your copy.


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