Smog [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Chet Baker / Piero Umiliani

Smog [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

1962

Original Score

This 1962 soundtrack is the second-to-last collaboration between Italian composer/arranger Piero Umiliani and the American trumpeter. They worked together on three previous films so the chemistry was well established. Umiliani's charts for "Dawn" and the title track are perfect dreamy vehicles for vocalist Helen Merrill. Baker's soloing throughout is as muscular and meaty, but whenever his expressiveness is called for as on "Twilight in Los Angeles," he delivers big. He doesn't solo on every track, but Umiliani's tunes and charts are so hip he doesn't need to.

- Thom Jurek

Shapin' Fluid

Afronaught

Shapin' Fluid

July 9, 2001

Broken Beat

Several albums sprang from West London's broken beat crew in 2001. Domu, New Sector Movements, 4hero, and Numbers offered full-lengths filled with polyrhythmic jazz-funk/soul hybrids seemingly made with nimble octopedes in mind. Orin Walters' lone album as Afronaught was among the sub-genre's most thrilling releases, containing the stampeding "Transcend Me," a belter powered by a hair-raising vocal from Melissa Browne.

- Andy Kellman