Monday, June 6, 2011

Drums, please!

This looks like a shot from the J. Geils Band 'Centerfold' video. Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na...

This week, Late Show with David Letterman is presenting its first-ever "Drum Solo Week," a series of shows in which Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra will put the spotlight on legendary drummers and percussionists like Sheila E., Roy Haynes and the CBS Orchestra's own Anton Fig. Because of "Drum Solo Week," it's time to revisit a killer two-minute drum solo that opens "Come Maddalena (Like Maddalena)," a cue from Ennio Morricone's lush score to Maddalena, an obscure 1971 Italian art-house movie in which, according to IMDb, Lisa Gastoni "takes the title role in uninhibited, full frontal nudity fashion" and falls in love with "a priest in doubt over his vocation." I've never seen Maddalena--I assume it's like The Thorn Birds, but without that creepy "he first knew her when she was a little girl" thing.

The soloist at the start of "Come Maddalena" is Morricone's frequent drummer during the '60s and '70s, Vincenzo Restuccia. His terrific drum work is also the highlight of "L'Ultimo," a Morricone instrumental that first appeared on the 1970 album Ideato, Scritto e Diretto da Ennio Morricone and was, according to a page about the 1970 LP, "composed for an unrealesed [sic] film whose title has been forgotten by Morricone himself." (I wonder why Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi didn't hire Restuccia as their percussionist during the recording of their Rome homage to '60s and '70s Italian film scores. Restuccia would have been perfect for that project.)

The groovetastic "L'Ultimo" sounds like something Marcello Mastroianni would have played in his convertible while driving around 1969 Rome with his 10th Victim stunna shades on.

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