Jazz on Film: Beat, Square and Cool
If anything, this second five-disc-plus-book (a generous 60 pages) set of classic jazz film music surpasses its excellent predecessor devoted to film noir. The late 1950s and early ’60s were a fecund time for American beat culture, marking the beginning of a wider countercultural movement and the questioning of entrenched American ideas about the social order, politics and race.
The movies and music attached to this phenomenon also incorporated radical and diverse ideas; finding names such as Mingus, Mulligan and, for that matter, André Previn (whose jazz career deserves re-exposure) looming large in this set is indicative. The styles and forms range from angular big-band glare to the sneaky-snakey style of the post-bop balladeers, while the set benefits from the improved recording technology of the period which, alongside some excellent remastering, gives a pleasing sonic result. Anyone into jazz, film or both should have a word with Santa.