Ennio Morricone "The Legend Of 1900: Original Soundtrack" (Vinyl LP)
Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore billed The Legend of 1900 not as a film, but rather a fable. But crucially, it's also that rare film whose musical score essentially involves one of its lead characters. Here, the great composer Ennio Morricone has concocted a score that's as magical as Cinema Paradiso, the team's previous musical watershed, yet gratifyingly disparate. Though Morricone takes many of his thematic cues from the rich, raucous music of the jazz age (including rags by Jelly Roll Morton and Scott Joplin), he seamlessly fuses them with his own pastoral neoclassicism and distinctly modern sensibilities. The result is a score whose philosophical kinship with The Mission is as alike as their music is wholly different--a masterful fusion of dissimilar elements in a compelling, new whole. While jazz purists may balk, Morricone devotees will be enraptured. Though his career has spanned 40 years and some 400 films, Il Maestro's invention and playful exuberance once again seem both ageless and exhilarating. And if the closing song, "Lost Boys Calling" (with lyrics and vocals by Roger Waters and underwrought guitar solos by Eddie Van Halen), seems something of a loopy, last-minute record-company gambit, simply consider it an early entry for Canto Morricone, Vol. 5.