Trained in classical piano and jazz organ, Luppi was immersed from an early age in the film scores of the most influential Italian composers of the era. He made his initial mark in Hollywood scoring indie films The Woman Chaser, Jesus “Jess” Franco’s Red Silk and Christian Taylor’s Showboy, as well as contributing original music to Sex And The City.
While scoring Showboy, Luppi began writing a series of songs in homage to the cinematic sounds he first discovered in his youth. These compositions became the basis for An Italian Story. The album features a number of exotically groovy instrumentals that actually reunited many of the 1960s Italian recording session mainstays. Among them were artists like Alessandro Alessandroni, whose signature whistle and twangy guitar indelibly marked Ennio Morricone’s “spaghetti western” soundtracks. Released in the US by Rhino/Warner, An Italian Story garnered rave reviews in The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and dozens of other publications, and received regular airplay on such influential radio stations as Santa Monica’s KCRW; film critic Elvis Mitchell devoted an entire episode of his KCRW show, The Treatment, to the making of the album, with Luppi and Alessandroni as his special guests.
The album’s unique blend of retro and modern sounds attracted the attention of Brian Burton — a.k.a. Danger Mouse — who asked Luppi to add his keyboard playing and innovative arrangements to what would become Gnarls Barkley’s debut album, St. Elsewhere. The multi-platinum success of St. Elsewhere led to Luppi writing and conducting the string arrangements for “Show Me” and “PDA”, two tracks from Grammy-winning soul singer John Legend’s Once Again CD.
Since then, Luppi has produced Grand Animals, the critically-acclaimed sophomore album by New York indie buzz band Robbers On High Street, and wrote an emotional, orchestral score for the award winning film Malos Habitos (Bad Habits), which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Most recently he wrote the score to Hell Ride, the Quentin Tarantino produced tale of motorcycle revenge and retribution, starring Michael Madsen, Eric Balfour and Vinnie Jones. He also scored the twisted high school comedy The Assassination of a High School President, starring Bruce Willis and Mischa Barton. Both films premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Next up will be a collaborative project with Danger Mouse — recently previewed in the pages of Spin and Harp magazine — that will see the two musicians traveling to Rome to record with the musicians from An Italian Story. This follows the release of Gnarls Barkley’s acclaimed sophomore album, The Odd Couple, on which Luppi arranged and conducted. Luppi is also collaborating with legendary Faith No More/Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton, and has several other exciting projects in the pipeline.
Edited by Andrew_Sigurow on 25 Jul 2008, 07:02
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