THE REAL AMERICAN SONGBOOK…Manny Albam & Hal Schaefer: Jazz Goes to the Movies/Showcase

The Spanish label Fresh Sound has done a remarkable job in revisiting a lost genre in jazz, the movie score. They’ve released a ton of “B” movie scores, all of which are stupendous. Here, they’ve reissued a pair of albums that were big sellers during the Ike and  Kennedy Years.

Showcase has Hal Schaefer leading a hot big band which includes Gene Quill/as, Osie Johnson-Charlie Persip/dr and Frank Rehak/tb. They deliver themes from various contemporary and classic movies such as “High Noon” and “Around the World in 80 Days” and make them swing! A take from “The Man with the Golden Arm” called “Molly-O” is a corker, and Bobby Troup’s “Daddy” is a delight. Manny Album does a similar idea with “Jazz Goes to the Movies,” and his band includes heavy hitters Johnny Coles/tp, Oliver Nelson/ts, Jim Hall/g, George Duvivier/b, Gus Johnson/dr and Phil Woods/as. Nothing to complain with here! The band hits it just right on “Exodus” and Ellington’s “Paris Blues” is shark skin suit tight. All that’s missing in “The Guns of Navarone” is Irene Pappas, while Max Steiner gets one of his scores to swing on “Majority of One.” Music when hip was hep!

Fresh Sound Records

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