2017 BET Awards

Billboard Bits: Ennio Morricone, Head Automatica, Dr. John

News on Ennio Morricone, Head Automatica, Dr. John

EnnioLegendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone will be celebrated with Milan's Sept. 30 release of a four-disc boxed set, "io." The package will feature a disc of "Film Music" from such movies as "Once Upon a Time in the West," "Cinema Paradiso," "Lolita" and "The Mission," arranged and orchestrated by Morricone himself. "Film Music" will also be released as a single-disc on the same day.

Disc two, "Music for Piano," finds pianist Gilda Butta performing Morricone's solo piano and film music compositions. Disc three, "Chamber Music," features 10 compositions performed by the instrumental act Musica d'Oggi and conducted by Morricone's son Andrea. A fourth disc, "Symphonic Music," boasts recordings of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Symphony Orchestra performing Morricone compositions.

Morricone, who turns 75 in November, is not slowing down (he scored seven European films in 2002). The composer will perform at a special birthday concert on Nov. 10 at London's Royal Albert Hall.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

GlassGlassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo and drummer Larry Gorman have teamed with producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura to form Head Automatica. The group has begun work at Nakamura's San Francisco studio on its Sire debut, expected early next year. Other as-yet-unnamed guests artists are expected to lend a hand.

"I've been writing electronic music for a long time," Palumbo said in a statement. "I knew it wasn't right for Glassjaw, so when the time came I started looking around for someone else to work with. I've always been a fan of Dan The Automator, so I asked him if he wanted to get involved. We really clicked and his role just naturally grew from producer to full-on collaborator."

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

ACDr. John (real name Mac Rebennack) has founded his own imprint, Skinji Brim, in conjunction with Tarzana, Calif.-based
Hyena Records. Through the partnership, the legendary New Orleans-based musician will inaugurate a series of live recordings under "The Rebennack Chronicles" banner. Select new artist signings are also expected.

"Look for some off the hook stuff from this crew," Dr. John says in a statement. "My hope is that we turn Skinji Brim into a vehicle for artists that ain't found a home nowhere, but has some solid music to project."

Due Sept. 23, the label's first release will be "All By Hisself: Live at the Lonestar." The disc captures 12 songs from Dr. John's Dec. 22-23, 1986, solo performances at the New York venue named in the title. A bonus DVD will feature a 30-minute interview with the artist.

Hyena founder Joel Dorn will oversee "The Rebennack Chronicles" releases, drawing from more than 500 tapes. He'll also seek out video footage to compliment each release. The label also has James Blood Ulmer and Thelonious Monk releases slated for September.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.