Some Came Running/Bernstein

April 17, 2007

elmer bernstein

 

Fresh off of his best selling big picture hit From Here To Eternity, James Jones had his second novel Some Came Running purchased by MGM before it had been published. Also featuring Frank Sinatra it also starred Shirley MacLaine, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer, and Arthur Kennedy. The 1958 release was directed by Vincent Minnelli and proved to be a good box office success for MGM. While the film garnered Oscar nominations to Martha Hyer, Arthur Kennedy, Shirley MacLaine, the best song “To Love and Be Loved”, and costumes Gigi, another Minnelli picture, stole the show for 1959.

Elmer Bernstein was right at home with writing the score to this sometimes jazz, sometimes serious plus a lot of source material which he personally wrote. In fact over the years Elmer, the true professional he was, was at home with westerns, biblical, comedy, action, jazz, and drama. You name it and he could come up with a quality score. This score was no exception being filled with good dissonant jazz cues, piano lounge music, wonderful romantic cues, a patriotic cue, and even a science fiction sounding cue! As is usually the case the FSM release is over 40 minutes longer than the Capitol LP (36 minutes) Elmer did in a separate recording from the soundtrack. During this time period it was fairly common to do a separate recording as opposed to just releasing the soundtrack material itself. To make it a better listening experience the producer and composer could pick and choose tracks and in most cases never release them in the correct order.

“The Prelude” is a brash jazz theme dominant by brass with dissonant chords from the piano. As is the case with very early stereo there isn’t the balance that is available today so the piano, as an example, is only in the right channel. This track sets the mood for a serious hard boiled drama. Bernstein use of the saxophone at the end of the track makes his style unique and at least for this reviewer easy to recognize. There is a lot more to this score than just jazz! “The View From Parkman” is quite patriotic and reminds you of “Carry Me Back To Old Virginia”. “Thwarted” is an almost Steiner like romantic theme written for the Gwen (Martha Hyer) character. Gwen (Shirley MacLaine) gets her own blues based theme in “Fifty Dollars” and other tracks. With the exception of “To Love and Be Loved” written by Van Heusen and Cahn for the film, and a couple of standard songs such as “After You’ve Gone” and “Blue Moon”, Elmer did all of the writing including many source numbers for the various nightclub and dance sequences. “Pursuit Part 1 and 2” remind me for some reason of a 50’s science fiction film with a Paul Dunlap score. There are some carnival/ merry-go-round tracks all quite the source music. You even get a little bit of Shirley MacLaine singing in quite a raucous fashion in “After You’ve Gone”! And just to set the record straight there are no Sinatra numbers. Frank didn’t sing in the film but did a commercial release of “To Love And Be Loved” on Capitol with Nelson Riddle, recorded on October 15th 1958. This recording coincided with the release of the film and is available in the Reprise 6 CD box set of all the recordings he did for Hollywood as well as other Capitol releases.

The project of bringing all of this material from 3 different sources is well you read the liner notes after you purchase the CD and you’ll be as amazed as I was! There is a weak spot or two with warble but overall it was an excellent job on the part of FSM. This is a release that I can highly recommend to lovers of Elmer Bernstein music and others I feel will find it interesting enough to have as an early jazz period piece from the 50’s.

Track Listing:

1. Prelude (01:47)

2. Fifty Dollars/Home Town (01:05)

3. Dave’s Double Life (02:08)

4. Smitty’s Cocktail Hour/Quonset (00:40)

5. The View From Parkman (01:53)

6. Gwen (00:55)

7. Better Beguine (01:35)

8. Thwarted (01:50)

9. On the Head (01:06)

10. Short Noise (00:29)

11. Like Wow (03:15)

12. Mambo for Ginny (01:30)

13. Fight (01:20)

14. Gwen’s Theme/Metamorphosis (05:24)

15. Frank Rejected (01:13)

16. Tryst (01:50)

17. Comes the Dawn (01:16)

18. Rejection (02:47)

19. To Love and Be Loved (instrumental) (01:57)

20. Dawn at Dawn (00:53)

21. Discovery/Parting (01:48)

22. Ginny (02:24)

23. The Noblest Act (01:14)

24. Tired/No Help/Reflection (01:17)

25. Live It Up (01:29)

26. Pursuit, Part 1 (01:47)

27. Pursuit, Part 2 (01:44)

28. Denouement (02:06)

29. Shock (02:00)

30. Catharsis (00:59)

(tracks 1-30 the score from “Some Came Running” 52’40”)

31. Live It Up/Crocked (02:13)

32. Blues (improvisation)/After You’ve Gone (Henry Creamer & Turner Layton) (02:47)

33. Don’t Blame Me (Jimmy McHugh & Dorothy Fields) (03:21)

34. Blue Moon (Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers) (03:09)

35. Calliope I (01:15)

36. Calliope II (01:34)

37. Calliope III (00:45)

38. Calliope IV (00:49)

39. Waltz Around (01:05)

40. Carnival Corn (02:12)

41. Round and Round (02:02)

42. Mary Go Round and Round (01:23)

43. To Love and Be Loved (vocal) (02:56)

(31-43 bonus tracks)

Total Duration: 01:17:12

FSM Vol 10 No. 1

Produced by Lukas Kendall

Golden Score Rating ***

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