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Tenderlonious brings modern jazz flute to a cinematic new project

Tenderlonious and Lorenzo Morresi present a new film score and library music-inspired album Cosmica Italiana.
Artwork by Matt Carter
Cosmica Italiana Bandcamp
Tenderlonious and Lorenzo Morresi present a new film score and library music-inspired album Cosmica Italiana.

Movie watching season is arriving with cooler weather and this week the New Cool brings you modern jazz inspired by music from film and television. Multi-instrumentalists Tenderlonious and Lorenzo Morresi present Cosmica Italiana, a joyful and fresh collection of music honoring film scores and library music.

The first catalyst for the two came in a 2017 meeting in Italy where both musicians bonded over mutual love for the music of Italian composers like Ennio Morricone, Piero Umiliani and Alessandro Alessandroni that blended jazz with experimental electronic disco and funk music in the 1970s.

Cosmica Italiana moves through dancing funk themes into relaxed moods with pulsing retro-modern synthesizers, exotic global scenes and driving disco explorations. Strong melodies keep the album flowing among surprising musical twists and turns.

Morresi adds a trio of keyboards, his bass and guitar to co-production duties alongside the flutes and saxophones, keyboards, percussion and a touch of vocalizing from Tenderlonious (aka Ed Cawthorne).

The pulse of "Nuda Sorgente" is fit for the discotheque with bubbling keyboards and rubbery bass lines, while also providing space for a thrilling flute solo. The electro-powered soft groove of "Tema Cinque" is one of a handful of songs leaning toward the sounds of early smooth jazz.

The most familiar melody is the pair's lounge-y rendition of the Italian ballad "Estate" — a jazz standard made famous by Joao Gilberto and been recorded by Shirley Horn, Eric Alexander and many others. The title song, released as a single in 2020, could energize a chase scene in the gritty streets of a vintage crime flick, even adding ajaw harp for a unique sonic eccentricity.

Tenderlonious and Morresi bring a sense of joy and fun to all the songs, embracing the nostalgia for a music that has recently been emerging from the fringes of our shared cultural history.

Film scores and television library music reached a creative peak 50 years ago, but musicians like Italy's Calibro 35, England's ATA Records and Mexican group Troker are realizing the potential and making fantastic sounds that are reaching modern jazz audiences and fans of instrumental music around the world.

The New Cool airs Fridays at 9 p.m., hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Washington. LISTEN ON DEMAND

The New Cool The New CoolTenderloniousLorenzo MorresiATA RecordsTrokerCalibro 35
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Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.