Published Jan 09, 2020Following a stunning string of 2019 reissues celebrating the late, great Italian library hero Alessandro Alessandroni, Sonor Music Editions capped off the year with Open Air Parade — one of the maestro's most elusive, and yet sonically ambitious, efforts.
Originally released in 1972 via cult Italian label SR Records, Open Air Parade arrived during an incredibly prolific period for Alessandroni, who at the time was cranking out a dizzying volume of records. In 1972 alone, in fact, he released at least seven albums, in addition to appearing on god knows how many records by others in the Italian cinematic scene. And yet, as Open Air Parade proves, Alessandroni had more than enough sonic ideas to go around.
While Alessandroni famously collaborated with such Italian figures as Ennio Morricone, Rino de Filippi and Giuliano Sorgini, Open Air Parade found him sharing the studio with esteemed bassist and fellow library hero Giovanni Tommaso. Together, the pair managed to crank out an unbelievable selection of tracks, and make one serious monster of a library album in the process.
Rather than stick to one overreaching sonic aesthetic, Open Air Parade is all over the place — but in the best way possible. At one moment, you're hit with easy-breezy lounge-funk, the next it's some fired-up psych ripper, and then out of nowhere, there will be a comical military march or pastoral bit of hippie drug music. Add in some breathtaking vocal pieces courtesy of Alessandroni's Cantori Moderni choir, and it's an all-over-the-map approach that's a lot to take in.
And yet, for all its many sides, Open Air Parade never stumbles, and over time, all the competing ideas actually start to make a logical-sounding whole. It's almost as if the complete lack of thematic rules gives the album a sort of freedom rarely heard outside the world of library music. And herein lies the true charm of Open Air Parade.
In a year that already saw reissues of some of Alessandroni's most celebrated work — specifically, Spontaneous, A Trip Around the World and Prisma Sonoro — it would be easy to let Open Air Parade be overshadowed. After all, those albums all present such big, sweeping and singular visions of sound.
Open Air Parade, however, plays out much more like Alessandroni's career itself, where nothing stayed in one place for long as one idea flowed to the next continuously — no repeats allowed. And that's an impressive feat for any artist, then or now.
You can order Open Air Parade directly from Sonor Music Editions here. (Sonor Music Editions)