This one wasn’t built in a day either. Five years in the making, Rome sprang from a mutual love of Italian film music shared by songwriter/producer Danger Mouse and composer Daniele Luppi, but it’s much more than mere hero worship. Having worked with the group Marc 4 on his 2004 debut An Italian Story, Luppi recruited three of the original 4 (a group that’s backed everyone from Ennio Morricone to Armando Trovajoli), while D-Mouse raided his burgeoning Rolodex to get Jack White and Norah Jones to sing on half the album. Drenched in natural reverb and the trippy, space-age lounge sound that’s so indelibly linked to classic Italian Mondo and exploitation cinema, Rome is a showcase for the enduring musicianship of the Marc 4, with 72-year-old bassist Maurizio Majorana flexing his chops. Whether he’s shadowing Jones’s jazzy vocal with deftly picked melodic runs (“Season’s Trees”) or dropping a strippeddown pocket for White (“Two Against One”), he still sounds right at home on his trusty ’62 Fender P-bass. So who says music is a young man’s game?
CD Review: Alan Vega/Alex Chilton/Ben Vaughn "Cubist Blues"
For weird and unexpected one-offs, Cubist Blues sets the standard, which is probably why it still holds up after 20 years in relative obscurity.