If you have watched Italian movies from the 1970s, you know Edda Dell'Orso, even if you've never heard the name. From Sergio Leone-directed masterpieces to giallo programmers starring Edwige Fenech, Dell'Orso performed her haunting wordless solo vocals over the music of maestro Ennio Morricone, as well as such less-known composers as Piero Piccioni, Luis Bacalov, Bruno Nicolai, and Armando Trovaioli. Her work, mostly uncredited, was one of the key components that made the Italian soundtrack scene as influential and progressive as it was. Al Cinema con Edda Dell'Orso is a superb introduction to her work that touches upon her collaborations with most of the key composers of the time. The selections beautifully showcase her range, which is at times soothing ("Gott mit Uns"), eerie ("Lo Straniero"), sensual ("Il Vichingo Venuto Dal Sud") and even spiritual ("I Bambini Ci Chiedono Perche"). She is equally capable of projecting her instrument to operatic heights ("Deserto di Fuoco"), as she is playfully cooing to a jazzy go-go beat ("Kill!"). When the music is above the norm, as in Morricone's haunting theme melody to Once Upon a Time in the West, the record reaches impossibly gorgeous heights. Most of the material is from lesser known movies, and it's a testament to both the work of the composers as well as Dell'Orso that the music has a consistent quality -- however offbeat -- regardless of the quality of the film. Al Cinema con Edda Dell'Orso contains a total of 23 cuts and manages to even include some raw, wonderful, unaccompanied material and rehearsals, yet it's not nearly enough. The CD is missing many of the more recognizable pieces ("Il Vizio d'Uccidere" from For a Few Dollars More, or "Faccia a Faccia" from the Sergio Sollima film) and some of the more extravagant avant-garde selections (like Morricone's compositions for Dario Argento or the material John Zorn memorably interpreted on The Big Gundown with vocalist Shelley Hirsch). After whetting the appetite with this marvelous souffle, it would be a treat to hear composer-specific collections featuring the hauntingly sensual soprano of Edda Dell'Orso.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by JT Lindroos