Brian Bennett

Aim High: Brian Bennett at KPM 1973-1976

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Between 1973 and 1978 Shadows drummer and budding orchestra leader/composer Brian Bennett recorded a slew of instrumentals for the music library label KPM. The tracks were subscription-based and coveted by television companies who paid a relative pittance for programming use. Compared to the significantly higher price doled out to commission composers, arrangers, and orchestras to score each individual episode, KPM's grab bag of funk, disco, easy listening, and instrumental pop was a steal, and the diversity and surprisingly high quality of the material made placement a cinch. RPM's Aim High compiles 20 commercially unreleased cuts from Bennett's prolific KPM years into a faux television soundtrack that conjures up glorious images of '70s small-screen wonders like CHiPs, Kojak, and The Love Boat. Bennett's skillful execution and boundless creativity omits that notion that any of these are toss-offs, rather they exist in some kind of sideburn vortex where cops are still jumping over city fences in pursuit of hippie purse snatchers and where brown vans carrying pimply teens are barreling through the streets of San Francisco in a cloud of pot smoke. All this is to be expected with song titles like "Boogie Juice" and "Keep Truckin'," but Bennett's no one-trick pony. Somewhere between the Morricone-meets-Mancini groove of "Reflections on a Misty Morning," the "Tubular Bells" knockoff "Glass Tubes," and the sweet melancholic "Sunset" -- the latter wouldn't seem out of place in a Wes Anderson film -- Brian Bennett the composer lives up to his occupational title.

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