- Released: August 17, 1998
- Label: Rastascan Records
- 1.Illusionista, L' - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 2.Winter Fireworks - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 3.Nell'ufficio Di Produzione Di Otto E Mezzo - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 4.Dolce Vita Via Veneto, La - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 5.Via Veneto e Mobili - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 6.Notturno O Mattutino - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 7.Patricia - Dei Gladiatori - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 8.Nights of Cabiria Suite - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 9.Nostalgico Swing, No. 1 - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 10.Nostalgico Swing, No. 2 - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 11.Dolce Vita, La - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 12.Cimiterno / Cigolete / Cadillac / Carlota's Galop - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
- 13.Parlami Di Me - (with Club Foot Orchestra)
Personnel: Steven Kirk (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Matthew Brubeck (cello, acoustic bass); Nick Phelps (flute, clarinet, oboe, baritone saxophone, trumpet); Sheldon Brown (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Joshua Raoul Brody (accordion, keyboards); Peter Joshef (clarinet, bass clarinet); Chris Grady (trumpet); Tom Yoder (trombone); Myles Boisen (electric bass, percussion, sound effects); Elliot Humberto Kavee (drums, percussion); Jim Kassis (drums).
Recording information: Guerrilla Euphonics, Oakland, CA (09/1996-12/1996).
Photographer: Jill Garellick.
Arrangers: Joshua Raoul Brody; Club Foot Orchestra; Nick Phelps; Matthew Brubeck; Myles Boisen; Phillip Greenlief; Sheldon Brown.
The Club Foot Orchestra, a San Francisco based ensemble made up of performers from various jazz, rock, and classical backgrounds, has a long history of interpreting film soundtracks (and scoring their own), so this tribute to the composer behind Fellini's great films comes as no surprise. Nino Rota has provided fertile ground for investigation by several composers; his work maintains a strong influence on Carla Bley and Willem Breuker and has been well-served by interpretations from, among others, the producer Hal Wilner (Amarcord Nino Rota) and Pino Minafra in his group, La Banda. Here, the emphasis is on unusual and tasty arrangements of Rota's pieces, most of them very familiar, rather than drastic deconstructions of same. The songs are either performed as set compositions or as vehicles for jazzy soloing, and despite the fact that a few of the musicians involved are strongly associated with the San Francisco avant-garde, the solo work is very accessible and exuberant. Notable among the fine individual instrumental contributions are those of trombonist Tom Yoder, cellist Matthew Brubeck, and accordionist Joshua Raoul Brody, each of whom demonstrate what musical richness can be found beneath the seemingly simple folky tunes and circus marches. Plays Nino Rota is an extremely enjoyable release and one that can be savored by Rota fans as well as the general jazz audience. ~ Brian Olewnick