Piero Umiliani was and still is a firm favourite of many soundtrack collectors. However, he also reached a wider audience via his connections and compositions within the world of jazz music for which, if the truth be known, he will be remembered for most. La Legge Dei Gangsters is one of those rare soundtracks when a composer utilises some wonderful jazz moments and fuses these with dramatic and romantic musical layers, creating a sound that not only enhances and enriches the images on screen, but also has the ability to stand away from those images and be an entertaining collection of themes on there own. Other composers that seem to be able to get the balance right when combining these styles are Lalo Schifrin, Quincy Jones and also Sid Ramin on his highly charged score for Stiletto. Umiliani, is probably better known for his quirky Ma Nah Ma Nah track, that was so popular during the 1960s, but there is certainly nothing similar to that composition within the score for THE LEAGUE OF GANGSTERS.
The music contained on this disc is quite a hard hitting work, but also contains some quieter more melodic moments that are well written and superbly orchestrated. Umiliani combines lush strings with sensitively placed Hammond organ and wistful sounding woodwind in certain cues, but on the jazz side of things he provides us with an accomplished and pure sound (‘Pure’, being the composer’s name for jazz music). The trumpet work in particular should be mentioned, it is fast, precise and flawlessly executed, although this might not be to everyone’s taste, it nevertheless works extremely well. Highlight tracks include, ‘Crepuscolo Sul Marie’, ‘La Legge Dei Gangsters’, ‘Very Fast’, ‘Tema Del Ad Dio’ and ‘Epilogo’.
As with all Easy Tempo releases the disc is sumptuously packaged with eye catching artwork and a sleeve that opens into a poster of the movie, which includes information about the film the music and the composer. I personally am not a big jazz fan, but in this case I will make an exception as Umiliani certainly gets the balance right on this, definitely worth a listen. It is a pity that Easy Tempo are no longer around and some of their releases have gone forever.