Manny Albam arranged nine movie themes from films of the late '50s and early '60s for an all-star big band including Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Johnny Coles, Urbie Green, Oliver Nelson, Jim Hall, Eddie Costa (who doubles on piano and vibes), and Bob Brookmeyer, among others. The loping rhythm added to "Exodus" may make it sound less majestic than the original soundtrack recording, but Woods' outstanding alto sax solo makes it worthwhile. Bassist Bill Crow trades choruses with the ensemble in the peppy take of "High Noon." Bob Brookmeyer's richly textured valve trombone, Coles' muted horn, and Woods' delicious alto make Duke Ellington's "Paris Blues" an obvious highlight. "La Dolce Vita" is a showcase for Clark Terry's matchless flügelhorn, answered by Nick Travis' humorous licks on muted trumpet. Albam even shows a sense of humor in his liner notes, stating that "The Guns of Navarone" "are aimed by Brookmeyer and Oliver Nelson." This Impulse LP is long out of print, but fans of old movie music arranged by a talent like Albam are advised to keep an eye out for it.
Jazz Goes to the Movies Review
by Ken Dryden