Alexander Emil Caiola (September 7, 1920 – November 9, 2016) was an American guitarist, composer and arranger, who spanned a variety of music genres including jazz, country, rock, and pop. He recorded over fifty albums and worked with some of the biggest names in music during the 20th century, including Elvis Presley, Ray Conniff, Ferrante & Teicher, Frank Sinatra, Percy Faith, Buddy Holly, Mitch Miller, and Tony Bennett.
During World War II Caiola played with the United States Marine Corps 5th Marine Division Band that also included Bob Crosby. Caiola served in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a stretcher bearer.
Caiola was a studio musician in the 1950s in New York City. He released some minor records under his own name in that decade. In addition, he performed under the musical direction of John Serry Sr. on an album for Dot Records in 1956 (Squeeze Play).
In 1960 he became a recording star on the United Artists label for over ten years. He had hits in 1961 with “The Magnificent Seven” (#35 in USA) and “Bonanza” (#19 in USA). The arrangements were typically by Don Costa, using a large orchestral
Caiola released singles and albums throughout the 1960s and beyond, though no others appeared on the charts except for an entry in 1964 with “From Russia with Love”. United Artists used him to make commercial recordings of many movie and TV themes: “Wagon Train (Wagons Ho)”, “The Ballad of Paladin”, “The Rebel”, and “Gunslinger”. His album Solid Gold Guitar contained arrangements of “Jezebel”, “Two Guitars”, “Big Guitar”, “I Walk the Line”, and “Guitar Boogie”.
The Magnificent Seven album, other than the title track, consisted of a variety of pop songs with a jazzy bent. Guitars Guitars Guitars was similar. There was a wide variety to his albums — soft pop, Italian, Hawaiian, country, jazz. In the early 1970s he continued on the Avalanche Recordings label, producing similar work including the album Theme From the ‘Magnificent 7 Ride’ ’73. Later, on other labels, came some ethnic-themed instrumental albums such as In a Spanish Mood in 1982, and Italian instrumentals. In 1976, Caiola accompanied Sergio Franchi, Dana Valery, and Wayne J. Kirby (Franchi’s musical director) on a concert tour to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Caiola died in Allendale, New Jersey, at the age of 96. (wikipedia)
Riziero Ortolani (Italian pronunciation: [ritˈtsjɛːro ˈritts ortoˈlaːni]; 25 March 1926 – 23 January 2014) was an Italian composer, conductor, and orchestrator, predominantly of film scores. He scored over 200 films and television programs between 1955 and 2014, with a career spanning over fifty years.
Internationally, he is best known for his genre scores, notably his music for mondo, giallo, horror, and Spaghetti Western films. His most famous composition is “More,” which he wrote for the infamous film Mondo Cane. It won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Theme and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 36th Academy Awards. The song was later covered by Frank Sinatra, Kai Winding, Andy Williams, Roy Orbison, and others.
Ortolani received many other accolades, including four David di Donatello Awards, three Nastro d’Argento Awards, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. In 2013, he received a Lifetime Achievement from the World Soundtrack Academy.
Ortolani was born on 25 March 1926 in Pesaro, Italy. He was the youngest of six children. Ortolani’s father, a postal worker, gave his son a violin at age 4. Ortolani later switched to flute after injuring his elbow in a car accident. He studied at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Gioachino Rossini” in his hometown of Pesaro before moving to Rome in 1948 and finding work with the RAI orchestra. Though the chronology is unclear, he also likely served as a musician in the Italian Air Force orchestra, formed a Jazz ensemble, and came to the United States as a Jazz musician in Hollywood, all before scoring his first film.
In the early 1950s, Ortolani was founder and member of a well-known Italian jazz band. One of his early film scores was for Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti’s 1962 pseudo-documentary Mondo Cane, whose main title-song More earned him a Grammy and was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. The success of the soundtrack of Mondo Cane led Ortolani to score films in England and the United States such as The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966), The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968) and Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968). He also scored the 1972 film The Valachi Papers, directed by Terence Young and starring Charles Bronson.
Ortolani scored all or parts of over 200 films, including German westerns like Old Shatterhand (1964) and a long series of Italian giallos, Spaghetti Westerns, Eurospy films, Exploitation films and mondo films. These include Il Sorpasso (1962), Castle of Blood (1964), Africa Addio (1966), Day of Anger (1967), Anzio (1968), The McKenzie Break (1970), The Hunting Party (1971), A Reason to Live, a Reason to Die (1972), Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972), The Fifth Musketeer (1979), From Hell to Victory (1979), the controversial Ruggero Deodato films Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and The House on the Edge of the Park (1980), and the first series of La piovra (1984). In later years he scored many films for Italian director Pupi Avati.
His music was used on soundtracks for Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 (1999), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), Drive (2011) and Django Unchained (2012).
In 2013, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Soundtrack Academy.
Ortolani died on 23 January 2014 in Rome, aged 87. (wikipedia)
And here´s their contribution to christmas music, a real nice one … with a wonderful jazzy guitar.
Al Caiola (uitar)
a bunch of unknown studio musicians
conducted by Riziero Ortolani
01. Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.45
02. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Gannon/Kent/Ram) 2.59
03. Buon Natale (Saffer/Linale) 2.04
04. Silver Bells (Livingston/Evans) 2.50
05. One Bright Star (Caiola) 2.52
06. Little Drummer Boy (Davis/Onorati/Simeone) 2.25
07. Holiday On Skis (Holmes) 2.29
08. White Christmas (Berlin) 3.09
09. Christmas Card (Ortolani) 2.37
10. Bossa Nova Noel (Pobliner) 3.51
11. Santo Natale (Hoffman/Manning/Nardone) 2.47
12. The Christmas Song (Tormé) 3.16
The official website from Riziero Ortolani: