Alfonso Santisteban/Cinema Tivoli.

Cinema_Tivoli_QREE002

Every so often a gem of a release comes along out of the blue by a composer that one is not familiar with. The surprising thing in this case is that the composer is not a new one, he has been involved in film music since the late 1960s and was very active during the 1970s and 1980s worked in Italy and also in Spain, so how did I miss the genius of Alfonso Santisteban ? This is a great compilation, and shows off the wonderful music that this composer has created for the cinema and his gift for melody and talent in creating tuneful,dramatic and infectious musical themes, his style is very much akin to that of Stelvio Cipriani and also he writes some pretty impress jazz cues as well. The overall sound of the album reminded me very much of the French composers Magne, Legrand and also Lai. In fact I think if one was to listen to this recording without knowing who it was, one would probably say it was Michel Magne, its that type of sound, pop/orchestral  which is slightly upbeat and very catchy.
It has that air about it that just says this is a WINNER.  Ok, not knowing much about this composer I sort of guess by the booklet and also the posters of films he has scored re-produced within it he has worked on some Italian movies, but predominantly was scoring motion pictures in Spain. The compilation is quite varied in its musical content as in style etc and towards the halfway mark does seem to lean towards the jazz influenced material that the composer has been connected with.  Now normally jazz is something of a turn off for me personally, but this is really smooth and polished jazz which is performed flawlessly and with much enthusiasm. The CD also contains a fair amount of what can be categorized as lounge or easy listening, but this is no way a derogatory remark as the cues that have been selected flow well together and make for some impressive and infectious toe tapping head nodding moments. This is a collection that I would recommend to everyone, and especially if you favour the Italian or French school of film music, by this I mean lots of strings, racing percussion,smouldering sambas, lively sounding brass, sensual and soaring female wordless vocals, harpsichord, choir and also hard hitting themes, because this compilation has got all of these and a lot more.
Sound quality is very good for most part but there is or at least I did detect some background noise on some tracks, track number three in particular but I  have been reliably informed that these are taken from recordings that are from the composers own private archive and a few from vinyl  (you know those black round 12 inch things), but even then the production is in no way lacking, in fact I think that Quartet have done a magnificent job restoring these cues, considering age/condition etc, this is certainly another one for the collection… and a wonderful addition to Quartet’s growing and glowing catalogue. Check it out, a s a p.

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