Spotlight: Sandro Brugnolini’s Overground (1970) Sincro Edizioni Musicali (Reissue 2016 Cinedelic Records) featuring Angelo Baroncini, Giorgio Carnini, Silvano Chimenti, Enzo Restuccia, and Giovanni Tommaso
In 1970, Sandro Brugnolini released Overground on Sincro Edizioni Musicali, an album of rock, funk, and jazz original compositions by Brugnolini and Luigi Malatesta that was also used as a soundtrack for a documentary commissioned by a local tourism board in Italy the same year. The LP is a showcase for some of the top players of the era including Angelo Baroncini and Silvano Chimenti on guitar, Giorgio Carnini on organ and piano, Enzo Restuccia on drums, and Giovanni Tommaso on bass and special effects.
Side A of Sandro Brugnolini’s Overground includes “Celluin,” “Adrie’s Dream,” “Cirotil,” and “Amofen,” with “Simanite,” “Roxy,” “Alipid,” and “Brain” on Side B. Subsequent reissues of the album added two additional tracks, “Cromaton” and “Cortex.”
The album, which was also released in a special promotional edition for the soundtrack of Enrico Moscatelli and Mario Rigoni’s documentary Persuasione, was recorded between 12 and 13 March 1970 at Dirmaphon Studio in Rome.
Sandro Brugnolini’s “Adrie’s Dream,” the second track, is on YouTube:
Prior to Overground, composers Sandro Brugnolini and Luigi Malatesta worked together on several film and TV soundtracks including Sergio Spina’s Il donna, il sesso e il superuomo (aka Fantabulous) in 1967–reissued by Four Flies Records in 2015, Dov’è l’Australia in 1968–reissued by Cinevox in 2012, and Gungala la pantera nuda in 1969–reissued by Saimel Bandas Sonoras, also in 2012.
Luigi Malatesta collaborated with Sandro Brugnolini on SR Records’ Jazz, the fourth in the Intermezzi series of LPs released sometime between 1968 and 1970. The impossible-to-find album has Brugnolini’s 12-part “Freedom Suite” on one side and Malatesta’s “Conflitto nel Vietnam” on the the back–using his own name as well as the alias J. D’Ardena.
Unlike Brugnolini and Malatesta’s other albums, Jazz has yet to be reissued in any format since its initial pressing.
Sandro Brugnolini’s “Cirotil,” the third cut on Overground, is online:
Two months after recording Overground, musicians Angelo Baroncini, Giorgio Carnini, Silvano Chimenti, Enzo Restuccia, and Giovanni Tommaso returned to Dirmaphon Studio to record Sandro Brugnolini’s follow-up LP, Underground.
Underground, initially released on Italy’s Record TV Discografica label, was reissued in vinyl by SONOR Music Editions in 2014 with three bonus tracks taken from an earlier Record TV Discografica album featuring tracks by Sandro Brugnolini and Franco Goldini. The 2012 reissue by Italian library and soundtrack imprint Pinball Music is also available as a digital download from online music retailers such as iTunes and Amazon.com, as well as directly from Flippermusic. A closer look at one of this correspondent’s favorite albums is HERE.
A pair of bonus tracks, “Cromaton” and “Cortex,” were added on subsequent vinyl reissues of Overground in 2008 and 2016 by Cinedelic Records, the 2009 CD reissue by AMS, and the current version available as a digital download in most major markets.
Sandro Brugnolini’s “Amofen” the fourth cut on Overground, is here:
Born and raised in Rome, composer Alessandro “Sandro” Brugnolini’s started out playing the clarinet. From 1956 to 1965, he was a member of the Modern Jazz Gang when he played alto saxophone, arranged, and acted as the main writer on albums including Miles Before And After in 1960.
In 1962, Sandro Brugnolini’s soundtrack for Gli arcangeli, featuring the Modern Jazz Gang and vocalist Helen Merrill, was released by RCA. To date, Brugnolini has composed soundtracks for at least eight movies and more than 500 television comedies, dramas, and documentary films. This is in addition to composing several prominent ballets and jingles used on Italy’s national broadcast networks.
Beyond composing and performing, Sandro Brugnolini has been a professional journalist, a music critic, and an official member of the Italian parliament’s press corps.
Sandro Brugnolini’s “Alipid,” the penultimate track on Overground, is on YouTube:
Most of the album cuts of the original Overground album are usually found online. In addition, the full album is currently available on YouTube.
Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi’s 1969 Musica per commenti sonori LP Reissued by Schema
In 1969, Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi released Musica per comment sonori on Costanza Records, the first of more than a dozen albums they did together. The album features three players from the Overground sessions, Giorgio Carnini on piano and organ, Enzo Restuccia on drums, and Giovanni Tommaso on bass, in addition to Maurizo De Angelis on acoustic and electric guitars.
In summer 2016, Brugnolini and Torossi’s album was reissued in full for the first time, in both CD and vinyl, on Schema, a label part of Italy’s Ishtar family of imprints.
“Motuproprio” from Musica per commenti sonori later appeared on Deneb Records’ Vintage Jazz, Pop & Rock: 1960s – 1970s’ – Easy Listening, a 2013 digital reissue of Costanza Records’ 1998 CD compilation Musica per commenti sonori: The Seventies featuring music from Sandro Brugnolini, Stefano Torossi, and composer-pianist Vito Tommaso, the brother of the bassist on Overground, Giovanni Tommaso.
Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi’s “Motuproprio,” later known as “Motu proprio,” is online:
The full Musica per commenti sonori album is currently available on SoundCloud.
2016 Feelings Reissue Features Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi
In 1974, Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi worked on several classic albums including Paolo Ormi’s Tastiere on Jubal Srl, Giancarlo Gazzani’s withdrawn Musica per commenti sonori on Costanza Records, and Jay Richford (aka Puccio Roelens) and Gary Stevan (aka Giancarlo Gazzani)’s Feelings on Carosello. Released in limited quantities, these first two albums have never been reissued and are virtually impossible to find. Feelings, on the other hand, has been reissued several times including most recently by Schema at the beginning of 2016.
Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi released several more full length albums including Strumentali: Genere computermusic – homo tecnologicus in 1986, Strumentali: Emozionale in 1987, and Musica per commenti sonori: Acoustic (I Marc Quattro oggi – suoni acustici degli anni ’60-’70) in 1997. The first two have never been reissued in any format while the last was issued as a digital download for the first time in 2015 by Deneb Records, under the title Film Characters: Cinematic – Electronic – Easy Listening. Torossi also served as the producer of Brugnolini’s tracks on Strumentali: Il mondo del lavoro in 1989, with Antonio Sechi, and several compilations including Strumentali: Vita d’oggi in 1991, Commenti musicali: Musica d’epoca – prehistoria e storia antica in 1993, and Musica per commenti sonori: Check Up in 1999–which was also recently reissued as a download.
Articles taking a closer look at Paolo Ormi’s Tastiere, Giancarlo Gazzani’s withdrawn Musica per commenti sonori, Feelings, Musica per commenti sonori: Acoustic (I Marc Quattro oggi – suoni acustici degli anni ’60-’70), Strumentali: Genere computermusic – homo tecnologicus, Strumentali: Emozionale, and Musica per commenti sonori: Check Up, with multiple cuts from each, are located in the ALBUMS section on this site.
As the majority of the album cuts from Feelings are already online, here’s something currently not in print, Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi’s “Replicante” from Strumentali: Genere computermusic – homo tecnologicus, one of several albums of electronic music they did together and with Amedeo Tommasi in the 1970s and 1980s:
Note: If any legal rights holders object to the posting of this rare, out of print, and unavailable track ripped from this correspondent’s personal collection, please drop a line and it will be removed immediately.
Earlier this year, Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi, two-longtime friends, met up with a few contemporaries from Italy’s Golden Age of library and soundtrack music including Alessandro Alessandroni and Romano Di Bari, founder of Flippermusic. The photo, recently posted on Alessandroni’s facebook page, is courtesy of Margaret Courtney-Clarke.
Among the 3000+ compositions credited to Sandro Brugnolini in the S.I.A.E. database is composing “Louisiana Gospel,” the opener on the third version of Alessandro Alessandroni’s eponymous album, also known as Farfalla #3, released by Cometa Edizioni Musicali in 2015. Unfortunately, this rousing piano-based tune featuring a full chorus is not online at this time.
Narassa (aka Sandro Brugnolini) and Amedeo Tommasi LP Reissued in 2016 by Intervallo
In the early to mid-1970s, Sandro Brugnolini released a series of albums under the alias Narassa. These include four with pianist-keyboard player Amedeo Tommasi, Tensione dinamica, Guerra e angoscia, Camera-Car, and Made In U.S.A.
All of these have been reissued in either CD and/or vinyl, including Intervallo‘s release of Tensione dinamica in both vinyl and digital format in May 2016. Most are now available in digital format, as well.
Officially, the three Rotary albums credited to Narassa (aka Sandro Brugnolini) do not mention Amedeo Tommasi, the identical scenario with Stefano Torossi’s three albums on the same label, all credited to his Farlocco pseudonym. However, Tommasi just happened to be the founder and owner of both the Rotary and Colimbo labels. When asked recently about his participation in the Rotary albums, he commented:
“I played all the instruments on all tracks of the discs.”
Stefano Torossi confirmed Amedeo Tommasi’s central role:
“Not only is Tommasi always the pianist in all our productions but he is the one who does all the electronic set up and playing. He was in fact one of the first musicians in Italy to buy and use a Moog.”
Narassa (aka Sandro Brugnolini) and Amedeo Tommasi’s “Spleen” from Tensione dinamica is on YouTube:
An interview with Sandro Brugnolini that discusses his career in music and offers highlights from the Modern Jazz Gang’s Miles Before And After for Adventure, solo efforts like his Utopia album for Gemelli Records, as well as music recorded under his Narassa alias with Amedeo Tommasi in the mid-1970s for Colimbo and Rotary Records is HERE.
Giovanni Tommaso, Bassist on Overground, Underground, and Musica per commenti sonori
Giovanni Tommaso is responsible for the distinctive, driving bass beat on Overground, Underground and Sandro Brugnolini and Stefano Torossi’s Musica per commenti sonori. The jazz bassist, composer, arranger, and band leader also played with Amedeo Tommasi, who he first met in Bologna in the late 1950s when Tommaso was a member of Quintetto di Lucca.
In 1960 the Amedeo Tommaso Trio plus Conte Candoli released Jazz In Italy N.11 on Cetra, a 45 EP that showcased Tommasi on piano, Tommaso on bass, Franco Mondini on drums, and Candolo on trumpet. The next year, Amedeo Tommasi and Giovanni Tommaso joined Chet Baker on tour.
The list of noted musicians Giovanni Tommaso has played with include Kenny Clarke, Franco D’Andrea, Kenny Drew, Gil Evans, Art Farmer, Claudio Fasoli, Dexter Gordon, John Lewis, Max Roach, and Sonny Rollins. Tommaso has also made a number of soundtrack and library music albums including Echoing America with Stefano Torossi for SR Records in 1970, reissued by Cometa Edizioni Musicali, with bonus tracks, in 2013.
A clip of Amedeo Tommasi, Giovanni Tommaso, and Franco Mondini performing Tommasi’s “Ballata in forma di Blues” live in 2012 is on YouTube. Tommasi first played this original composition on the Chet Baker Sextet’s Chet Is Back! LP on RCA in 1962:
Giovanni Tommaso discusses some of the highlights of his extraordinary life in music in an interview HERE.
Sandro Brugnolini Overground + Underground Sampler on SoundCloud
Four tracks from Sandro Brugnolini’s pair of albums recorded sequentially between March and May 1970 are currently on SoundCloud including “Cortex,” a bonus cut on the AMS and Cinedelic Records Overground reissues. The sampler also features “Impressiànico,” “Velocipedèico,” and “Ciaciàstico,” all from Underground–the last track was added to the later reissues of the album. Musicians include Angelo Baroncini and Silvano Chimenti on guitar, Giorgio Carnini on organ, Enzo Restuccia on drums, and Giovanni Tommaso on bass and special effects.