For his very first film assignment Grusin was off and running and never looked back and what a score if you’re taste leans toward big band/jazz/romantic strings/classical and a dash of Tijuana Brass. This is an extremely versatile score to an extremely funny Norman Lear film starring Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds. The humor is a bit caustic but I remember seeing this one in the theater and rolling with laughter in the aisles.

 

The “Prologue” opens with a brass fortissimo and then settles in to very proper classical style music and then slightly shifting gears with a little jazz from the brass and percussion. “Social Suburbia” is a bonus track with harpsichord, percussion, and flute to open the track along with a cool baritone sax statement. “The Other Women” is a funk track with appropriate guitar work and percussion backing and an extended organ solo that sounds like it came from a jamming session. “Drunk at Home” is a bonus track and never let a cue title fool you. This is a lush romantic track with vibes and harpsichord. Playful at times but the sweet strains of violins playing the main theme over power the majority of the cue. “Before the Storm” is more of that delicious romantic theme with all the right ingredients in a superb arrangement. “The Judgment” is another quiet track with flute offering the melody and the track ends with a muted trumpet. “Sudden Bachelor Blues” is a Basie blues arrangement with Saxes offering the melody. If I didn’t know better it sounds like Mandel had a hand in the orchestration. As many of you know he worked for Basie at one time. “Financial Counterpoint” sounds somewhat like a fugue but the tune leads into a more romantic style. “Tacos For Un Por Favor, Jose” is an arrangement Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass style that was very popular at the time. “The Scheme” begins with a romantic style and then becomes more underscore with clarinet, oboe, and timpani. “Sunday Fathers” starts with a swinging bass which leads into another classical style track. “Reconciliation/Epilogue begins like the main title to Mulholland Falls before it switches to a Schifrin bossa nova revisiting the main theme before it ends as it began with classical harpsichord. This is the third Grusin release from Kritzerland this year. Like Bruce has done with Baxter these are very welcome releases. This is a limited edition of 1000 units so act sooner rather than later or you’ll be disappointed. This is one soundtrack that I’ll revisit on a regular basis!

Track Listing:

1…. Prologue (2:28)

2…. Social Suburbia (bonus track) (3:08)

3…. The Other Woman (2:43)

4…. Drunk at Home (bonus track) (2:50)

5…. Before the Storm (2:26)

6…. The Judgment (2:28)

7…. Sudden Bachelor Blues (4:18)

8…. Financial Counterpoint (2:41)

9…. Tacos For Un Por Favor, Jose (1:40)

10… The Scheme (3:05)

11… Sunday Fathers (1:56)

12… Reconciliation/Epilogue (4:57)

Total Time is 32:40

 

The Art of Love (1965)

By

Cy Coleman

When I think of Cy Coleman “Witchcraft” is the first song that comes into my head with Sinatra singing backed by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. More of lyricist and a Broadway man he still made his contribution to the silver screen and this 1965 comedy starring Dick Van Dyke, Angie Dickinson, Elke Sommer, and James Garner showed off his talent with memorable themes, the kind you can whistle, on nearly every track. It was produced by Ross Hunter so I need not go into the silliness of the comedy.

 

The “Main Title” begins with the accordion to lead the ear to Paris followed by a nice brassy introduction which leads the listener into a swinging big band version of the melody which is repeated throughout the score. “Parisian Women” is a holiday for the brass as the strings and accordion offer a nice upbeat theme. “Nikki’s Theme” is another brass holiday with strings and piano offering a seductive theme with a memorable melody. “The Inspector Revisited” is arranged in a similar fashion to the Mancini staple Peter Gunn with biting brass as they return from their short holiday to offer a comic fun style track. One could see this track fitting in a number of different scenarios. “Halfway Blues” is a very light jazz track featuring piano, guitar, and flute. “The Chase” is music that could have come straight from something written for a silent movie. With frantic piano one can see the young damsel tied to the railroad tracks. “So Long Baby” is the main theme swaying once again with Coleman providing the piano solo. This arrangement is very easy and laid back somewhat elevator like but very pleasant to the ears. “I Wish I Knew Her Name” (Coco’s Theme) is a light accordion driven number with Cy getting his licks on the piano. “Blue’s for Laurie” (Laurie’s Theme) is quite the seductive track as Coleman uses the sax along with warm inviting strings in a fireplace cue. Very romantic. “Kick Off Your Shoes” is another laid back light jazz track with Coleman providing the solo once again. “Art of Love” is a revisit to the main theme very upbeat in a swing and sway style with the piano front and center to conclude the 59 minute CD. If you’re not familiar with Coleman this is a very nice introduction.

Track Listing:

13… “Main Title” (2:12)

14… “Parisian Women” (1:18)

15… “Nikki’s Theme” (2:36)

16… “The Inspector Revisited” (2:27)

17… “Halfway Blues” (2:28)

18… “The Chase” (1:40)

19… “So Long Baby” (1:40)

20… “I Wish I Knew Her Name” (Coco’s Theme) (2:20)

21… “Blues for Laurie” (Laurie’s Theme) (2:42)

22… “Kick Off Your Shoes” (1:44)

23… “Art Of Love” (2:09)

Total Time is 26:12

Total Time for the CD is 59:12

A Dry White Season/Grusin

February 5, 2011

03 – 03 AftermathDead Children

 

 

I first became acquainted with Dave Grusin not from the fine soundtracks he wrote for the silver screen but from an album called The Gershwin Connection, very nice light jazz arrangements featuring Gary Burton, Eddie Daniels, Lee Ritenour, and Chick Corea in addition to fine keyboard work from Dave. His jazz had good arrangements and was relatively easy to listen to but with enough complexity to make it a step above elevator music. As I explored his material further I became aware of some of his soundtrack material. I really never considered The Graduate as Grusin but Simon and Garfunkel but I did obtain The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Mulholland Falls for their pretty themes. As I’ve become totally immersed in collecting I finally began to realize the large amount of material Dave has composed and he is now a staple in my collection.

 

The tragic film starring Donald Sutherland, Marlon Brando, and Susan Sarandon dealt with South Africa under apartheid, was something audiences didn’t want to see in spite of excellent reviews. Today it has had a bit of a revival and is somewhat more appreciated for what it was a fine film.

 

The Dave Grusin score including the bonus material is only 36 minutes but the transfer to CD is a superb one in stereo very clean, clear and crisp in the high end and a smooth bass in the low end.”Happier Times”, the main title, is music for a time of reflection with soft strings leading the way. “I Never Saw Him” is a return to the main title and again played low key and quite tragically. “Aftermath/Dead Children” (clip is included) is a trademark sound of Mark Isham, a trumpet playing lonely into the night. The trumpet is followed by some African rhythm and back to the trumpet for the conclusion of the music. “Demonstration” along with “The Search” is a militaristic style march complete with snare drum and brass.

 

The bonus tracks include two source cues of some interest. “Source Music #1 is a very sounding jazz Grusin featuring a rhythmic calypso style track very positive and upbeat. “Source Music #2 is another jazz track featuring the trumpet in a nice solo with the African beat a constant in the background.

 

Overall while on the shorter side this is a nice example of the versatile and easy listening nature of Dave Grusin. Bruce has done it again finding something that few of us were familiar with at all. As is usually the case with the Kritzerland releases they are limited to a 1000 units so it would be better to act sooner than later.

 

Kritzerland KR20017-8

Produced by Bruce Kimmel

 


Track listing

1. Happier Times
2. Grandfatherly / Demonstrations
3. Aftermath / Dead Children
4. He’s My Child/I Never Saw Him/Gordon’s Arrest
5. Torture
6. Monsters Win / Funeral Parlor
7. Wife Waffles / Flashbacks
8. Gordon Tortured
9. The Search / Christmas In The Park
10. Without Slap / Emily’s Beating
11. Father and Son
12. Garage Explodes / Ben Knows
13. Father and Daughter / Stoltz and Suzette
14. Ben’s Death
15. Stanley Kills Stoltz

Bonus Tracks:
16. The Search (alternate)
17. Source Music 1
18. Source Music 2
19. Ben’s Death (alternate)

 

Total Time is 36:17