One of the first true moments of genius from producer Hal Willner – the man who helped open up so many ears to diverse music with projects like these! The album's a tribute to the music of Nino Rota, as used in the films of Federico Fellini – but rather than just be a slavish remake, the set instead has a set of ultra-hip jazz musicians providing their own interpretations of Rota compositions – in a range of formats that's completely breathtaking, and which takes these sublime melodies and transforms them even past their use in the films! The set features fantastic Jaki Byard solo performances of "Amarcord" and "La Strada", solo vibes from Dave Samuels on "La Dolce Vita/
Juliet Of The Spirits", the Clarla Bley Big Band performing "8 1/
2", solo soprano sax and gong from Steve Lacy on "Roma", David Amram playing "Satyricon", solo Bill Frisell guitar on "Juliet Of The Spirits", a great "La Dolce Vita Suite", with passages by Muhal Richard Abrams and Sharon Freeman, and even a medley of "The White Sheik/
Nights Of Cabiria" by arranger William S Fischer with Branford Marsalis
and George Adams on saxes, Wynton Marsalis
on trumpet, and Kenny Barron on piano.