Piero Umiliani


A true icon of the world of soundtracks, Piero Umiliani (1926-2001) and his rich discography have enchanted several generations of listeners.

His modern sound, famous and imitated, was a trademark of Italian movies from the end of the 50s through the 70s. Umiliani, which already had worked with Jazz Men like Gianni Basso and Oscar Valdambrini, signed the first Italian Jazz soundtrack in 1958 (I soliti Ignoti). It was just the beginning of an unrivalled career that brought him signing soundtrack like ‘Smog’ with the participation of Chet Baker and Helen Merrill, ‘Una Bella Grinta’ with Gato Barbieri, and ‘Accattone’ by Pier Paolo Pasolini where Umiliani worked with Maestro Rustichelli and Ivan Vandor. Umiliani’s versatility enabled him to work with a great variety of styles and directors, for all kinds of movies.

Umiliani recorded music for radio and tv, playing a pivotal role in bringing Jazz to Italian households. In 1969 the Maestro conquered music charts all over the world, when ‘Mah nà Mah nà’ became the theme of the famous Muppets’ Show created by Jim Henson.

Umiliani wrote more than 150 soundtracks, let alone the music he composed for documentaries, theatre and television. He was also a great collector of music instruments from all over the world, and in 1970 was one of the first in Italy to experiment with the Moog and other electronic keyboards.

The last two decades have seen the rediscovery of lounge music and the revival of Italian soundtracks from the 70’s, especially thanks to directors that loved Umiliani’s music, like the American director Quentin Tarantino.

Many labels have came across the rich production of the Maestro, allowing many fans, old and new, to encounter his music.

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