Re: RARA-AVIS: JAZZ as soundtrack

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (
Date: 23 Jul 2007

I have Man with the Golden Arm and that probably ranks a close second or third along with Anatomy of a Murder which is also in my collection. I'm also a fan of Johnny Mandel's I Want to Live.

Okay, this is the third mention in as many days of Sweet Smell of Success, which I happened to pick up at the video store on the way home. I take these things as signs.


> "In the late fifties, Hollywood was just beginning to explore the full
> emotive possibilities of jazz musicians and composers on full-feature
> soundtracks. The list of examples is still awe-inspiring: Elmer
> Bernstein and Shorty Rogers on 1955's Man with the Golden Arm, Chico
> Hamilton on 1957's Sweet Smell of Success, Duke Ellington on 1959's
> Anatomy of a Murder, and Charles Mingus on 1960's Shadows. Even in
> comparison with these film scores--the result of careful planning and
> generous budgets (or as low budget as Ascenseur, in the case of
> Cassavetes's Shadows)--Mile's one-night, improvised accomplishments
> holds up, and indeed stands out all the more."

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