Romano Mussolini

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Romano Mussolini (26 September 1927 – 3 February 2006 aged 78) was an Italian jazz pianist, painter and an unsuccessful film producer.[1] Although he was the fourth and youngest son of Benito Mussolini, fascist dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943, he was never involved in politics.

Biography[edit]

A native of Villa Carpena, Forlì (Emilia-Romagna), Romano Mussolini studied music as a child, playing classical pieces with his father on the violin.[2]

After World War II, he started playing jazz under the assumed name Romano Full[3] and by the mid-1950s, he had formed a trio. Romano Mussolini released a self-titled record (featuring Lilian Terry on vocals and trumpeter Nunzio Rotondo) through RCA Records in 1956. By the 1960s, he had formed the "Romano Mussolini All Stars", which became one of Italy's foremost jazz bands.

The All Stars recorded a well-received record Jazz Allo Studio 7 in 1963 with At the Santa Tecla following a year later. Mussolini's band toured internationally with artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Helen Merrill and Chet Baker. In the 1990s, Mussolini recorded two more albums, Perfect Alibi and Soft and Swing. His playing style has been described as "...like a slightly melancholic Oscar Peterson. Occasionally inspired, he was always efficient; he made the refrains run on time."[4]

In 1962, Mussolini married Anna Maria Villani Scicolone, the sister of actress Sophia Loren. They had two daughters, Elisabetta and her elder sister Alessandra Mussolini, who was a member of the European Parliament, and leads an Italian national conservative party, Alternativa Sociale. Romano Mussolini composed the party's official anthem, "The Pride of Being Italian".[4] With his second wife, the actress Carla Maria Puccini, he had a third daughter, Rachele, named after his mother Rachele Mussolini.

Mussolini was very reserved about his family history. It was only in 2004 that he published a book, entitled Il Duce, mio padre (Il Duce, my father), followed by a similar book in 2005, collecting personal memories and accounts of private confidences and discussions with his father.

He was the last surviving child of Benito Mussolini.

He died, aged 78, in a hospital in Rome of undisclosed causes.

Selected discography[edit]

  • Mirage (1974)
  • Soft & Swing (1996)
  • The Wonderful World of Louis (2001)
  • Timeless Blues (2002)
  • Music Blues (2002)
  • Romano Piano & Forte (2002)
  • Jazz Album (2003)
  • Napule 'nu quarto 'e luna (2003)
  • Alibi perfetto (2004) soundtrack

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Same name, different fame". The Sydney Morning Herald. March 18, 2006. 
  2. ^ "Jazz pianist Romano Mussolini dies at 78". CBC Arts. February 3, 2006. 
  3. ^ Adriano Mazzoletti. "Romano Mussolini", Grove Music Online, ed. L. Macy (accessed January 14 2014), grovemusic.com (subscription access).
  4. ^ a b Steyn, Mark (May 2006). "He made the refrains run on time". The Atlantic Monthly. 

Books[edit]

External links[edit]