Barney Wilen

Auto Jazz: Tragic Destiny of Lorenzo Bandini

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AllMusic Review by

French tenorist and racing enthusiast Barney Wilen arrived at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix with his Nagra sound recording system in hand, planning nothing more than to tape the race for private use. But when famed Italian Formula One racer Lorenzo Bandini lost control of his car and crashed, suffering horrific burns that claimed his life three days later, Wilen set to work on integrating the tape into a new composition celebrating the driver's life and career. The resulting Auto Jazz: Tragic Destiny of Lorenzo Bandini remains one of the most adventurous and potent recordings in Wilen's catalog, its careening, visceral music brilliantly paralleling the exhilaration of its subject matter. Bandini's Ferrari speeds in and out of the musical narrative, jockeying for position amid Wilen's soaring tenor and Eddy Gaumont's crashing drums while uniting driver and musicians in their reckless abandon and addiction to adrenaline.