Daniele Luppi's An Italian Story is a tribute to the influences that formed the young Italian composer's aesthetic, namely the soundtracks of the swinging Italian films of the '60s and '70s and the group that seemingly provided the music for all of them. The group, known as the Marc 4, was Italy's answer to the Wrecking Crew (Phil Spector's group of core musicians) or the Funk Brothers (Motown's backing group). Luppi actually managed to coax the three living members of the quartet out of retirement to play on An Italian Story, and from the sound of it, they haven't lost any of their old chops. The combination of the authentic musicians, Luppi's songwriting, and the streamlined and warm production create an amazingly accurate rendering of the classic Italian cinema sound. Tracks like the swinging "Nightclub," the funky "Free Love Sequence," and the sitar-based groover "Hypermodels" capture the blend of smoky, nocturnal jazz, spooky spy music, and nasty funk that was the foundation of the sound. The songs all feel like they were heisted directly from an old soundtrack but thanks to the imaginative production also sound totally fresh and most of all fun. If this disc had come out at the height of the lounge/exotica craze of the mid-'90s, those in the know would be hailing Luppi as a postmodern genius. As it is, he is one heck of a producer and anyone looking to score their own personal Italian fantasies should rush out and purchase this stunning disc right away.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra