The Gauntlet/Jerry Fielding

March 7, 2012

I can remember first seeing The Gauntlet at the theaters in 1978 and after the movie was over I felt exhausted! I had never seen so many bullets fired at this bus in my entire life. There was enough ammunition fired for L.A. Confidential, Heat, and enough left over for the Korean War. This was a Clint Eastwood directed picture which also starred his girlfriend at the time Sondra Locke and Pat Hingle in a story that dealt with transporting a witness to federal court in Phoenix, Arizona. This film was made for the action crowd and further enhanced the macho image of Clint. It did little for the career of Sondra Locke who did her best film in 1969 The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.

This is a straight reissue of the original material found on the Warner Brothers LP (BSK3144), an album I own and wore out over time as the type of jazz played was of great interest to me especially the playing of Jon Faddis who I’ve had the opportunity of hearing live. The majority of the material is standard type jazz that you might have heard in the 70’s. The solos of Pepper and Faddis are enhanced with good biting arrangements from Fielding. The 3000 limited edition release Perseverance PRR 043 is priced at $12.98 more than compensating for the rather short 31 minute timing (this is how LP’s were). The mastering is fine. I particularly noticed that some of the very high trumpet passages produced clear concise notes without the shrill you can sometimes hear. The bass solo passages are clear without muddiness as you sometimes might hear. Background noise was at a minimum and it offers good dynamic range.

Track Listing:

1… Bleak Bad Big City Dawn (3:23) offers the main title instrumental version of “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” an older gospel composition in public domain. While the arrangement features Faddis it also offers bass, drums, piano, and orchestra backing.

2… The Pickup (2:36) is a showcase for the alto sax of Art Pepper although it begins with a bluesy conversation between Pepper and Faddis. Backed by the orchestra Pepper doesn’t miss a lick.

3… Exit Tunnel, Roaring (3:06) gives you great brass arranging with a solo from Faddis that will certainly loosen any ear wax you might have. There is good brass harmony backed by some nice drum work.

4… The Gauntlet (4:38) there is a synthesizer introduction before you hear a strong orchestral arrangement enhanced by the upper register performance from Faddis.

5… The Box Car Incident (3:36) tension underscore gives way to a slow building climax with creepy woodwinds along the way. It ends with a sound of a train in the background.

6… Closer Look At A Closer Walk (3:15) is a repeat of the main title theme “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” in a bluesy arrangement.

7… The Black Sedan (2:29) is improvisational with little melody but strong rhythm and a nice Pepper solo which slowly fades into nothing.

8… Manipulation/The Center Divider (2:45) a dissonant Pepper sax gives a feeling of urgency. This is the Fielding sound we’ve grown accustom to.

9… The Delivery (2:49) a tension track featuring growling brass, creepy oboe and bassoon, and lower strings in a twelve tone sound dissonant track.

10… Postlude (2:02) a final offering of the main title bordering on the romantic side with major key strings and an organ.

Total Duration: 00:31:07
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One Response to “The Gauntlet/Jerry Fielding”


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