Released in January 2016, DIABLO is a western/physiological thriller which stars Scott Eastwood(yes he is related) as Jackson a veteran of the civil war. His character awakes one morning to find that his wife has been kidnapped by a bunch of cutthroats, of course Jackson goes in pursuit his aim to rescue his spouse and bring her back home. Along the way he encounters many unsavoury characters all of whom seem to want to put a bullet or two in him. As the story progress’s it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between the good guys and the not so good to the extent that at times the watching audience begin to doubt if the central character is actually one or the other or neither. The musical score is the work of composer Timothy Williams who has already worked on a number of movies as a composer but more predominately as an orchestrator and additional music composer. Working on projects such as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, 300, SUCKER PUNCH and WATCHMAN Williams is certainly no stranger to the scoring stage. For DIABLO the composer has created a powerful and hard hitting score, which at times does have influences and sounds that are straight out of the Spaghetti western genre, Williams makes effective use of choir which is mainly male voices that shout in a similar fashion to the barking choir on Morricone’s FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, he also utilises whistling which again creates a style and ambience that is straight out of the western scores of such Italian greats as Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, Francesco De Masi, Nico Fidenco and their like. The opening track on the compact disc sets the scene perfectly, BLOODLINE is an impressive title song performed by vocalist Zella Day who delivers a killer rendition of her lyrics over an even more impressive musical score which has at its core a percussive backing which is embellished by the inclusion of high soaring trumpet solos, whistling and jangling electric guitar riffs which are all held together by strings and choral support, all of these elements are woven together seamlessly by Williams and hit the spot straight away. Track number two COLORADO TERRITORY opens with a solo whistle which after a short time is joined by a poignant but apprehensive sounding violin or fiddle and is unbeknown to us the listener the calm before the musical storm. Track three ALEXANDRA KIDNAPPED although fairly short lived is a return to the more traditional scoring style of the western with a dramatic and forthright opening from the string and brass sections establishing that something dramatic and disturbing has happened, the cue then seems to tail off into something that is a little more settled but at the same time is atonal with no real thematic base, the music conjuring up an atmosphere of uncertainty and loss.

images (99)

There are a number of the more quieter moments with Williams score, but at times these low key interludes suddenly burst into a full on action cue, with rasping brass and thundering percussion being driven along and carried at pace by strings. AMBUSH AT THE RIVER for example and CARTERS DEATH. Track number GALLOP is one of my favourite cues on the score, the composer bringing together a near upbeat percussive backing and fusing it with driving and rising strings that act as support for brass that growls. Overall this is an enjoyable listening experience and although Williams has employed what I call the ITALIAN WESTERN SOUND at certain points within the score, the composer has also created numerous original and innovative sounding passages, which are highly exhilarating, poignant and contain their fair share of emotion and melancholy. I am sure that you will enjoy this soundtrack. Released on Milan records.


download (45)

As a film music collector that has always been interested in music from Italian movies the name of Gianni Marchetti is one that has always been in mind when discussing or listening to scores from Italian productions, Marchetti was up until recently more or less ignored by many of the recording labels both in Italy and outside of that country. Yes a number of his soundtracks had been available on original LP records from the 1960,s and 1970,s but with the furious re-issue programme undertaken by certain labels I was surprised that we did not see more of this composers music out on the shiny little discs. However over the past four years or so Gianni Marchetti’s soundtracks have at last received the attention form labels such as KRONOS, HILLSIDE,BEAT and QUARTET amongst others. One score by the composer that I thought would be at the top of the list to be released was IL MAGNIFICO TONY CARREA, but alas no, I had to make do with my original CAM vinyl long playing record up until just a few weeks ago when Quartet records announced they would release it.

download (44)

Marchetti is in my opinion still vastly underrated and never seems to get the credit that he so richly deserves, but with this release and the handful of others that have been issued I think that now collectors are beginning to realise just what a great talent he was as a composer, arranger, orchestrator etc. The problem with Marchetti was he was somewhat overshadowed by the great success of composers such as Piero Piccioni, Stelvio Cipriani, Bruno Nicolai and Ennio Morricone, it was not that Marchetti’s music was in any way inferior to his fellow Maestro’s but it was the films he scored rather than anything to do with the actual music as many of his projects were not released outside of Italy. This release on the Quartet label includes the 12 original tracks from the CAM LP release plus it also contains another 23 cues which are listed as Film Versions or Alternatives. Many of the composers infectious themes for the movie make more than one appearance on the recording, or at least we get to hear varying versions of them, with the composer arranging or orchestrating them differently, keeping them fresh and vibrant on each outing. The composer utilises the unique vocal sounds of Nora Orlandi’s 4+4 on the score and I may be wrong but I am sure that the Sitar solo’s are the work of Alessandro Alessandroni, but don’t quote me.

download (46)

IL MAGNIFICO TONY CARRERA is an infectiously rhythmic work, the composer bringing into the musical equation up beat percussion, light and subdued harpsichord, electric guitar, hip sounding organ, fuzzy sounding guitar, acoustic guitar, solo female wordless vocals, woodwind and a scattering of strings all of which produce lilting and haunting themes of the romantic and nostalgic variety plus a number of fast paced pop orientated funky sounding compositions that delight and get ones foot tapping. There are also just a few cues that I suppose can be categorized as being comedic music, with a group whistling a jaunty little theme whilst being accompanied on banjo and percussion, which adds a certain variety to the work. I love the way that Marchetti utilises the choir within the score adding it either as a punctuation to the music or as the main stay of a particular cue, either way it is wonderfully effective. Presented well by Quartet with striking cover art and a handful of images from the movie within the CD liner, also has some informative and enjoyable notes by Gergely Hubai, sound quality is of a high standard also, in fact I cannot recommend this release enough, so don’t think about it just buy it now.