Hey, great idea for a jazz disc! The title tune is from vibist Locke, and the other ten tracks are all themes from various noir films, several of which used jazz-flavored soundtrack music. Some of the liner notes are from a director of many episodes of The Sopranos, and he describes the feelings that all noir movies exude are menace and melancholy. He also compares the noir world to one seen thru the eyes of a child – things are mysterious, inexplicable – menace lurking around the dark corners. There’s also many connections between the worlds of jazz and film noir.
Instead of the strings-challenged small Hollywood orchestra playing the soundtrack music, we have here a swinging septet which improvises inside and outside the movie themes with great creativity, and it’s in great sound too. Some of the arrangements are as complicated as the film plots; one example is Dave Grusin’s theme for Mulholland Falls. Mark Isham’s music for Les Modernes gets a 1920s Paris cabaret treatment, and the main theme from Body Heat takes John Barry’s theme on a sexy/cynical trip that will recall the movie effectively.
Tracks: Fallen Angel, Chinatown theme, Les Modernes, Katya, Promenade Sentimentale (from “Diva”), Theme from “Mulholland Falls,” Body Heat, A Farewell to Maria, Last Kiss, Farewell My Lovely, Hurricane Country.
– John Henry