Roberto Conrado, Piero Montanari, and Antonino Scuderi’s Bass Modulations (1973) Octopus Records (Reissue 2010 Pinball Music)
In 1973, Roberto Conrado, Piero Montanari, and Antonino Scuderi released Bass Modulations on Flippermusic’s Octopus Records. The jazz-funk library music album contains fourteen original instrumentals, half a dozen apiece credited to Conrado on Side A and Montanari on Side B, with one by Scuderi on each side.
Side A of the Bass Modulations‘ LP includes “Coagulations,” “Dipper,” “Lay-Out,” “Pledge,” “Overtime,” “Quit Hold,” and “Puzzle,” with “Likewise,” “Cobweb,” “Nibble-Out,” “Properly,” “Range In,” “Zoo Sound,” and “Way On” on the back.
At this time, only a single track from the first side is available online.
Roberto Conrado’s “Pledge” is on YouTube:
In 2010, “Likewise,” the opening track on side B, also appeared on Flipper Psychout: Original Italian Library Music From The Vaults Of Flipper, a compilation on Spain’s Vampi Soul label.
The double album, one of this correspondent’s favorites, includes multiple cuts from Alessandro Alessandroni, Sandro Brugnolini, Rino De Filippi, Amedeo Tommasi, as well as Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari. Originally released in vinyl and CD, the compilation is now available as a download.
“Likewise,” was initially solely credited to Piero Montanari on the 1973 LP. However, according to Discogs, Roberto Conrado was an uncredited co-composer and later compilations that use the track mention both composers.
Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari’s “Likewise” is on SoundCloud:
As many artists in the library music and soundtrack field in Italy in this period were often forced to employ aliases–and sometimes failed to received any credit at all, the Discogs credits that use SIAE databases are often more reliable than the information found on either the album cover or the record labels.
The music marketplace site indicates six compositions were written by both Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari, including “Dipper,” “Lay-Out,” “Nibble Out,” “Properly,” and “Zoo Sound.” It also states Giorgio Rosciglione is uncredited on Antonino Scuderi’s “Range In.”
One example is “Properly,” which was initially only credited to Piero Montanari on the Bass Modulations LP. In 2013, when it was selected for the Criminale, Vol.2, Ossesione compilation on Penny Records, Conrado is added as a co-composer.
Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari’s “Properly” is online:
Another, “Nibble Out,” was also first only credited to Piero Montanari on the initial vinyl release. When it appeared on the compilation Italian B-Movies: 70’s Rare Grooves released by Primrose Music in 2008, both Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari shared writing credit.
Among tracks that feature a single composer is “Cobweb” by Piero Montanari. This also is found on Schema’s 1997 Scoctopus: The In Sound From Octopus Records! compilation.
Piero Montanari’s “Cobweb,” the ninth track on Bass Modulations, is on YouTube:
An earlier, extended version of “Zoo Sound,” the penultimate track from the Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari LP, debuted on Musica In Rilievo, a compilation released by Beautiful Black Butterfly Records in Italy in 1972.
“Zoo Sound,” performed by the Montanari Band, is attributed to Montanari exclusively on both Musica in Rilievo and Bass Modulations although it seems likely Roberto Conrado composed it as well.
The alternate version of “Zoo Sound” by the Montanari Band is on SoundCloud:
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.
In 2010, the limited release Bass Modulations LP was reissued as a download by Pinball Music–and is currently available from music retailers such as Amazon and iTunes.
The label, which was started by David Nerratini the same year, specializes in classic Italian library music. This includes Climax, Roberto Conrado and Piero Montanari’s first release on Octopus in 1973–which also includes Amedeo Minghi’s title track.
Nerattini is also responsible for compiling the tracks on the Penny Records’ Criminale series. These days he’s also busy playing drums and percussion for La Batteria. A closer look at their new album Tossico Amore is HERE.
More Music from Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi
Musician-composer Piero Montanari has been making music for jazz and pop albums since the mid-1960s, playing with musicians like Chet Baker, Tullio De Piscopo, Roberto Gatto, Tony Scott, Toots Thielemans, Amedeo Tommasi, and Massimo Urbani. Montanari has also recorded a series of library music albums for labels including Costanza Records, Deneb Records, Fonit Cetra, Primrose Music, and Rai Trade. This includes several with Stefano Torossi.
In 1995, Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi worked on Montanari’s Ulysses: A Traveller Through Time And Space for Primrose Music, Oriental Trip – Full Immersion, part of Costanza Records’ Musica per commenti sonori series, and Riflessioni – Meditazioni – Sentimenti e pensieri, part of Fonit Cetra/RAI’s Commenti musicali series. The last two are with with Fabrizio Fornaci. All three albums were produced by Torossi.
More than twenty years later, the tracks from Ulysses continue to be licensed on a regular basis, including “Orbit” on the Best Music for Shiatsu, Vol. 1 – Deep Relaxation compilation released in 2015 by Relaxing Music.
A closer look at Piero Montanari’s Ulysses is HERE.
An auto-generated video for Piero Montanari’s “Orbit” from Ulysses, produced by Stefano Torossi, is on YouTube:
In 1998, Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi had a pair of compositions on Art and History: Atlante storico and one on Sport & Travel the next year, both compilations released by Rai Trade and produced by Torossi.
Piero Montanari’s Digital Age, produced by Stefano Torossi using the alias Melodicon, was also released by Rai Trade in 1999.A closer look at Piero Montanari’s Digital Age is HERE.
Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi’s “Giulietta e Romeo” from the Art and History: Atlante storico compilation is online:
Montanari also had compositions on at least three more themed compilations on Rai Trade including Problemi sociali in 2000 and Contemporary Style and Social Tensions, both in 2003.
Each of the CD-only compilations on Rai Trade was produced by Stefano Torossi–and all are currently out of print. Produced in limited quantities, the CDs appear upon occasion on sites like Discogs and eBay.
Piero Montanari and Stefano Torossi’s “Emotions” from the Contemporary Style compilation is on YouTube:
Three Videos featuring the Music of Piero Montanari & Danilo Mosetti
Videos for three tracks from one of Piero Montanari’s latest releases, Movie Superheroes: Orchestral – Soundtrack – Fantasy, with Danilo Mosetti, is online.
The 2012 album is currently available as a download from Flippermusic’s Deneb Records.
The lineup includes “Aliens,” “Action Soldiers,” and “Masked Superheroes”:
Movie Superheroes and Ulysses are also both available from Amazon and iTunes in most markets.