RIP Armando Trovajoli (1917-2013)
Armando Trovajoli, whose long career as a film composer encompassed more than 200 titles, has passed away at the age of 95. His death was announced only today though he died in late February.
He started out professionally as a successful songwriter and jazz pianist, and evolved from a jazz combo to a full jazz orchestra by 1960, during this period accompanying such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. During the great boom in Italian film production of the late '50s and early '60s, he found his skills increasingly in demand by the movie business. Among his most notable accomplishments as a film composer are the scores for such mainstream successes as TWO WOMEN, BOCCACCIO '70, YESTERDAY TODAY AND TOMORROW, MARRIAGE ITALIAN STYLE, BAMBOLE, THE LIBERTINE, DEADLY SWEET, LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE, A BULLET FOR ROMMEL, IL COMMISSARIO PEPE, THE PRIEST'S WIFE, THE VALACHI PAPERS, WE ALL LOVED EACH OTHER SO MUCH, MAN OF THE YEAR, SCENT OF A WOMAN (the original), A SPECIAL DAY, WIFEMISTRESS, BLAZING MAGNUM, LA NUIT DES VERENNES, MACARONI and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
His experience in jazz helped to make him particularly adept at creating atmospheric scores in the genres of horror and fantasy. Among his numerous scores of this kind -- sadly under-represented on CD -- are UNCLE WAS A VAMPIRE, ATOM AGE VAMPIRE, ALONE AGAINST ROME, THE GIANT OF THE METROPOLIS, MOLE MEN AGAINST THE SON OF HERCULES, HERCULES CONQUERS ATLANTIS, HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, WEREWOLF IN A GIRL'S DORMITORY, TOTO VS. MACISTE, THE WORLD OF TOPO GIGIO, SEVEN GOLDEN MEN, PLANETS AROUND US, DR JEKYLL LIKES THEM HOT and FRANKENSTEIN 90.
Trovajoli also excelled at writing Italian popular canzone. Check out his work for Paul Anka, Jimmy Fontana, and this splendid medley of his work performed by Mina. Trovajoli continued to serve as a piano accompanist to Mina and also Johnny Dorrelli throughout the 1970s. His most famous composition in his own country is "Roma nun fa' stupida stasere" ("Rome, Don't Be Stupid Tonight"), made famous in the 1960s by opera great Gino Bechi working in a more popular form, which has since come to be regarded by many Italians as the great city's unofficial theme song.