Gino Paoli writes masterpieces, there’s probably too much on his mind for anything else. His music is filed with imagination and grace, his arrangements are elegant and sophisticated yet simple and truly mesmerizing. His effortless and captivating vocal melodies sore over changes in feel, key, and time, as if these principles existed only for him to fool with. While exploring the Complete Morricone boxset I came across excellent arrangements of some of his classics- including a wonderful version of his “Il Cielo in una Stanza”- hidden on the last disc, and was utterly blown away. He says the song came to him laying in a brothel, believing in the majesty of love or some shit, so that should give you a sense of his style, right? I strongly suggest reading a translation of the lyric, taking for granted that we all know the value of translations- which is great, and some have said more accurate than what the author originally wrote. Though the romanticism, surrealism, and beauty of his work could cross any language barrier. The brilliantly moving “Maschere” is another high point, though Paoli has those in spades. Which makes the schrapnel in his heart seem even more tragic, the result of an attempted suicide a few years after the release of his first album in ’61. Paoli fills his listeners with an overwhelming since of joy and love, and yet a reflective melancholy always frames the melody. This collection is one of the best I’ve found.