Italian composer Riz Ortolani died on January 23 at his villa outside Rome. He was 87. In the early 1950s Ortolani was founder and member of a well-known Italian jazz band.
He wrote his first score for Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti’s pseudo-documentary Mondo Cane, whose main title-song More earned him a Grammy and was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Song. The success of the soundtrack of Mondo Cane led Ortolani to score films in England and the United States such as The 7th Dawn (1964), The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964), The Glory Guys (1965) and The Spy with a Cold Nose (1966).
Ortolani scored all or parts of over 200 films, including German westerns and a long series of Italian giallos, spaghetti westerns, Eurospy films, Exploitation films and mondo films.
More recently, his music was used on soundtracks for Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), Drive (2011) and Django Unchained (2012). In 2013 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Soundtrack Academy.