RIP Ennio Morricone, master of the Spaghetti Western score

He won an Oscar for scoring Quentin Tarantino’s lesser send-up of the genre, “The Hateful Eight.” But the great Italian film composer Ennio Morricone made his mark on the cinema in the ’60s, scoring the Italian-made/Spanish-filmed Westerns of Sergio Leone and others.

“Fistful of Dollars” was the first, and the music helped set the tone and hip cachet the films acquired — guitars, grunting choruses, horns. They’re timeless.

Morricone passed away over the weekend of complications following a fall. He was 91.

Morricone scored films of most every other genre, in Italy, Hollywood and elsewhere. Think Tarantino “rediscovered” him? Oh no. Warren Beatty used him for “Bulworth,” De Palma for “Casualties of War,” Polanski for “Frantic.”

His Wikipedia biography mentions all the singers, from Paul Anka to Andrea Bocelli.

A horn-playing jazzman who evolved into a conductor, composer and orchestra of great range and virtuosity, we’re not likely to see one as long-lived and impressive as Morricone again.

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