Lelio Luttazzi was a multifaceted artist who shined and left his mark as a pianist, musician, conductor and composer. A jazz lover, Luttazzi reached fame and success thanks to his brilliant and undoubtable talent. During a career spanning more than 50 years, he established himself as a master of several disciplines such as music, literature and cinema.
He started his career in Trieste right after the Second World War. In 1948 he moved to Milan to take on the role of Director at the mythical CGD (Compagnia Generale del Disco, one of the most prominent Italian record label at that time). In 1950 he moved to Turin where he conducted Rai’s orchestra (the Italian national broadcaster). One of the first composers to place jazz structures in the Italian songs, he invented the rhythmic string orchestra. In 1954 he moved to Rome.
To understand Luttazzi’s sound it is important to consider the context he grew up in Trieste has always been a peculiar city, its musical history being influenced by the post-war anglo-american administration, which introduced jazz and public radio broadcasting. Luttazzi’s sound is in fact characterized by mitteleuropean atmospheres tinged with American swing. Swing, humour, invention and immediacy are the distinctive traits of his music. When he was young, he fell in love with the music of Louis Armstrong, and of American composers such as Gershwin, Porter, Kern and Carmichael – Erroll Garner was his favourite pianist.
His deep knowledge of music allowed him to obtain outstanding results not only as a composer but also as an arranger and orchestrator. Luttazzi contributed to the rising Italian film industry, writing a multitude of soundtracks (especially music comedies) but also as an actor. His works ranged from classical orchestration to opera and jazz. His style of jazz was unmistakable and personal: he had a deep, physical connection with this sound, you could have told by his mannerism. One of the pioneer of the genre in Italy, he’s been the first to use jazz as a soundtrack in movies.