February 21, 2012

Mystery Science Theater 3000 commented about Albert Glasser as “the man who holds you down and pummels you with music.” Albert got his start in the 30’s at Warner Bros. as a copyist and orchestrator under the guidance of Korngold and Steiner. Did you know that he has done 135 films, 300 television shows, and 450 radio programs? If remembered at all it would be for all of the work he did on the popular series The Cisco Kid. This new release for 2012 from Kritzerland (20021-2) is coupled with Invasion USA (1952) and only the 4th CD released of his material with three of them coming from Kritzerland.

Tormented (1960) was a Bert Gordon film featuring Richard Carlson in the starring role as a jazz pianist who killed his former girlfriend only to have her come back and seek revenge when he wants to marry. This low budget thriller/horror film is now in public domain so if you wish it can be watched for free on IMDB internet archive.

Working a miracle with a relatively small orchestra Glasser created a somewhat dissonant jazz score with some of the tracks being supplemented by a string section. The Main Titles feature the Tormented theme with a strong bongo beat, and jagged dissonant brass being a prelude to a jazz theme shared by the reed and brass exchanging the main melody line. It sets the tone for the jazz pianist and the music he plays. The Opening Narration offers a brief love melody with strings as the horns carry the line. The sax plays the melody with the piano and bongo drum in a typical trio setting which changes to dissonant brass with no melody for The End of Vi. If you like a twisted distorted style this section is for you. The Lighthouse gives you Stan Kenton like chords followed by a flute solo. Overall the track is also dissonant with no defined melody. Perfume by Arpege is a repeat of the love theme without strings and a swagger to it. Footsteps by Vi is a somewhat melodic line which involves the entire orchestra with the percussion changing to cymbals and snare drum. Tormented by Vi begins with string and then a vocal of the love theme sung by Margie Rayburn. This was arranged as a 45 RPM single which I’m not sure if anything ever came of it. Margie Rayburn once had a song “I’m Available” that reached the charts. It is a typical sounding pop arrangement that somewhat suffers from a small sound from the orchestra. The Photo offers a nice jazz version of the love theme featuring some nice reed work and then a cool jazz trombone solo. Girl Talk, while certainly not Hefti sounding, is a romantic underscore of a variation of the love theme. End Titles offers a nice coda with the love theme and frantic sound from the bongo drums.

Don’t expect high quality sound as it was a lower budget ‘B’ movie and a mono source. I know that the best possible quality was delivered by Kritzerland but it is what it is and having the opportunity to have a Glasser soundtrack far outweighs the negative.

Track Listing:

16… Main Titles (1:36)

17… Opening Narration/The End of Vi (3:24)

18… The Lighthouse (1:52)

19… Perfume by Arpege (1:07)

20… Footsteps by Vi (1:58)

21… Tormented by Vi (1:48)  Audio Clip Rayburn Vocal

22… Nightmare (2:23)

23… Vi’s Watch/Who’s in the Lighthouse (2:41)

24… Vi’s Hand (1:32)

25… Mrs. Ellis Talks to the Dead (2:36)

26… The Photo (3:02)

27… Girl Talk (1:38)

28… Vi’s Head (1:30)

29… Sandy Sees Murder (0:58)

30… Wedding Jitters (1:30)

31… Vi at the Wedding (1:34)

32… Sandy in Danger/Tom’s End/ End Titles (1:16)

Total Time is 29:42

Kritzerland CD# is 20021-2





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