Roy Budd

Rebirth of the Budd

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This attractive and well-programmed collection covers the career of Roy Budd, a British jazz keyboardist who established a lucrative second career as a film composer during the '70s. Rebirth of the Budd divides its time equally between Budd's lounge-ish instrumental albums and his film scores, thus creating an effective combination of smooth, jazzy easy listening tracks and faster-paced film score cues that makes a consistently interesting listen. In the soundtrack arena, the best cues are "Get Carter," an exotic jazz track that layers some heavily echoed keyboard explorations over a taut rhythm track built on bass and tablas, and "Fear Is the Key (Main Theme)," which pits traditional film score string orchestrations against a jazzy rhythm section fueled by some stylish saxophone work. In the lounge instrumental category, top tracks on Rebirth of the Budd include "In My Hole," a breezy and rhythmic slice of easy listening-flavored jazz anchored by Budd's smooth electric piano riffs, and "Girl Talk," an elegant cut that features Budd laying down some quietly jazzy keyboard riffs against a silky backdrop of strings and flute. There is also a memorable up-tempo cover of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that gives the composer a chance to unwind and show off his jazz chops on the piano. The only real downside of this compilation is that Roy Budd has much more high-quality material than a single disc can cover and some notable scores and tracks have been overlooked as a result. Examples include "Foxbat," a funky spy film score that has become a cult favorite, and "The Car Chase," an epic instrumental tour de force from Fear Is the Key that is a top favorite among Budd fans. However, this is a minor caveat when the scope and generosity of this collection are considered. All in all, Rebirth of the Budd is a solid introduction to the career of Roy Budd and is recommended to listeners who appreciate the more lounge-ish side of the soundtrack world.

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