COMPOSERS: HOLLYWOOD SWING & JAZZ
PERFORMER: Benny Goodman, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Gerry Mulligan, Louis Armstrong
CATALOGUE NO: 88697777372
In the wake of a Proms double sensation by the John Wilson Orchestra, which revisited Hollywood studio film scores, this timely compilation from that golden age gives an insight into a range of original soundtrack recordings.
You’ll find a whistle-stop tour of tunes, some now jazz standards – ‘Jeepers Creepers’, ‘Blues in the Night’ – and the many films, some forgotten (Skirts Ahoy! anyone?), and some treasured (High Society etc). With studios realising the earning power of jazz artists, it’s intriguing to see how many appeared in these polished swing-era arrangements (some great, some not).
There are clearly omissions but Will Freidwald’s liner notes give a tantalising overview of this lost world of celluloid: a quick search on Amazon reveals that fewer than half the 34 films mentioned are available. Keep an eye out for a copy of the Ann-Margret ‘flop’ Made in Paris, for its cracking Count Basie octet tracks. Neil McKim