NNA071: Tredici Bacci “The Thirteen Kisses Cassetta”
Tredici Bacci is 14-piece group of young musicians from Boston, Massachusetts under the impressive orchestral direction of Simon “Luxardo” Hanes, perhaps best known for his madman bass playing in Guerilla Toss. Their debut “cassetta” serves as a celebration of a musical era, fostered by a unique, exciting, and rapidly changing time in history. Tredici Bacci harnesses the essence of classic 1960’s and 1970’s Italian film score music, bathing in the luscious tunes contained within Commedia all’italiana, Giallo slasher, and Spaghetti Western soundtracks. Hanes makes excellent use of traditional orchestration techniques in these pieces, creating a vast sound by employing emotive strings, breezy winds, and an extremely in-the-pocket notated rhythm section. Hanes also beautifully employs the use of the soloist as a thematic melodic voice, with rich, beautiful trumpet playing from Jake Baldwin complimenting the sultry vocals of Sami Stevens. No instrument is ever overpowering and each one plays it’s role perfectly, fitting together seamlessly against the meditative rhythms and varying tempos. There’s a tremendous amount of range in these pieces, from the sensitive and melancholy to the playful and upbeat – at times the music conveys an air of classy sophistication, and at other times it’s drenched in cheap perfume and prurience. This balance of cosmopolitan elegance and steamy funk is what makes “The Thirteen Kisses Cassetta” shine, calling upon all the juiciest elements of orchestral jazz, lounge, pop psychedelia, softcore soundtracks, library music, and the romantic spirit of classic film scores in the vein of Armando Trovaioli, Ennio Morricone, and Bruno Nicolai. A refreshing collection of arrangements in the “pen and sheet music” tradition that defy personal expression and instead favor mood and timelessness.