Re: RARA-AVIS: David Goodis and jazz influence

From: Richard Moore (
Date: 22 Jul 2007

--- In, "Jeff Vorzimmer"
<jvorzimmer@...> wrote:
> Speaking about jazz, hardboiled crime fiction and film noir, I
thought I'd
> add that I think the best soundtrack of any film noir has to be
> pour L'ť£®afaud (1958). The French really got the style and angst
down in
> their revival of the genre in the late 50s. Having Miles Davis
score the
> film was brilliant and I think it stands as one of his great works
of that
> decade. Interestingly enough it's been on CD now for almost 20
years and
> still in print I believe. If someone on list can think of a better
> soundtrack, I for one would like to know about it.
> Jeff

Offhand I can't think of a better one. It's wonderful. I always thought Charles Mingus could have composed a great noir soundtrack. As I recall, he was supposed to do the music for John Cassavetes' first film Shadows (1959) but most of it didn't get done for one reason or the other. I believe some Mingus remained in the film, although most was by other hands.

The Cassavetes television series Johnny Staccato (1959) also featured some very good jazz. There was a regular house band in Staccato's club and other musicians had guest bits. Red Norvo was one and John Williams, later to become the most Oscar-nominated composer in history, did a couple of episodes as a piano player. He was billed as Johnny Williams.

Speaking of house bands in private eye series, they were rather common in private eye series of the late 1950s and early 1960s. The show that kicked off the private eye boom was Roy Huggins' 77 Sunset Strip. When PI Stuart Bailey and his cohorts needed a drink, which was fairly often, they would drop into a club called Dino's where the Frankie Ortega Trio was usually on the band stand. They were a real group and a pretty good one.

Richard Moore

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