Title: Fuori l'Orchestra
Musical Direction: Piero Umiliani
Director: Fernanda Turvani
Hosts: Paola Pitagora e Piero Umiliani
Dates: From 03/06/1963 to 04/24/1963
Piero Umiliani plays some swing classics. Nini Rosso stands on the right.
Piero Umiliani hosts the show and performs a gag with the singer Tony Cucchiara.
Two years after the show Moderato Swing, RAI TV and Piero Umiliani decide to try with another jazz program. Twenty years have passed since the golden age of swing and so it is the time for its revival with a project promoted by RAI managers, who are now more open to jazz than in the past (in Via Teulanda a few names had changed since Moderato Swing). This is the start of Fuori l’Orchestra, a TV program well structured and defined, with Amurri and Faeole as authors, Umiliani in the double role of musician and host and actress Paola Pitagora, who had previously hosted Giornale delle Vacanze. From March 6 to April 24, 1963 the show is broadcasted every Wednesday at 9:55 p.m.. In this program they not only play jazz music but also talk about it and illustrate its evolution. The aim is to divulge this type of music following the criteria of “entertaining while educating”, pursued in that period by the majority of TV productions. The show lasts 35 minutes and each episode pays homage to a different big band. The first episode is dedicated to Glenn Miller and his “In the Mood” that is considered the “hymn” of the end of the Second World War because it is associated with the arrival of American troops in Italian cities. The other episodes are dedicated to Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Harry James and finally Duke Ellington, the most loved by Umiliani. Whenever possible, original film footage of these great musicians is shown. Umiliani and his orchestra follow closely original big band music scores, studied in depth to perform the music in the most rigorous and accurate manner.
Many performers alternate in the course of the program: Tony Cucchiara, Nicola Artigliano, Carla Boni, Wilma De Angelis, Jula De Palma, Tony del Monaco, John Foster (alias Paolo Occhipinti) and the Nora and Paola Orlandi 2+2.
Nini Rosso’s trumpet is another fundamental element in the music cast. He is the soloist in “I Ragazzi del Jazz”, signature tune of the show composed by Umiliani and Nini Rosso. The lyrics of this tune are also by Nini Rosso.
An important section of each episode is dedicated to dancing, performed by Noel Sheldon and the Austrian Helen Sedlack (whose tight outfits trouble RAI censorship).
A substantial part of the program is also dedicated to modern jazz. As always, Umiliani is interested in its research, experimentation and novelty. Each week an Italian band participates in “Fuori L’Orchestra” like the Amedeo Tommasini Trio, the Quartetto di Lucca, the Quintetto Santucci Scoppa, the Riverside Band, the Quintetto di Franco Cerri, the Sestetto di Roma…. practically all the famous bands in the Italian jazz history.
“Fuori l’Orchestra” reaches its goal which is to divulge jazz music to a large audience and the signature tune of the show becomes very popular and enters music sale charts. The newspaper Il Corriere della Sera (dated March 7, 1963) reviewing the first episode of the show writes: “the quality of this show is higher than in other similar TV programs”. After a week the newspaper Il Resto del Carlino titles the review of the second episode: “Excellent music in Fuori l’Orchestra".
After this TV show Umiliani continues his collaboration with RAI, composing background music and signature tunes for documentaries and programs of all genres. However varied, Umiliani’s production always focuses on jazz, which he successfully brings into Italian homes.