Robert Drasnin

Voodoo!

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Most music fans don't know of Robert Drasnin, but if they're also fans of classic television, they've heard his music: Drasnin scored the music for Mission: Impossible, The Twilight Zone, and The Man from UNCLE, among others. He got his start in the music business playing saxophone and flute with Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, and Red Norvo, and later studied composition with film score giant Miklós Rózsa and classical composer Lukas Foss. In the '50s, the exotica of Martin Denny was all the rage, being a hybrid of the tropical/Hawaiian/Southeast Asian music, Tito Puente-style Latin music, and lounge jazz; subsequently, a tiny record company prevailed upon Drasnin to come up with a suitable counterpart. He succeeded, and virtually surpassed the man he was supposed to be copying. The band, consisting of Drasnin on piccolo, two flutists, a pianist, a harpist, a bassist, and six percussionists, with Salli Terri providing wordless vocals, is delicate and inspired, and Drasnin's compositions show wit, warmth, and a remarkable sense of spaciousness. This isn't just some corny or kitschy item of nostalgia for the ain't-we-hip set -- it's intelligent mood music, cinematic music without a film, and jazz-tinged easy listening that doesn't condescend to the listener.

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