Dominic Frontiere

Love Eyes: The Moods of Romance

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Dominic Frontiere followed the exotic and eclectic Pagan Festival with this album of program music in which each two- to four-minute piece musically expressed its one-word title. The album title promised love and romance, but the song titles went somewhat beyond that charter, including words like "Teen-Age" and "Beatnick." Frontiere approached his subjects with a Hollywood film composer's sense of using musical signifiers in obvious ways. A prominent influence was Henry Mancini, whose jazzy sensibility informed "Sultry" and "Beatnick." "Teen-Age" employed a pre-rock & roller's sense of what rock & roll was all about, strapping a hard rhythm under lurching strings. "Childish" made extensive use of nursery-rhyme tunes. All of this was the kind of musical shorthand understood by the music departments of the movie studios, and Love Eyes was, in effect, a demonstration record displaying its composer's understanding of what constituted appropriate musical accompaniment to film in the early '60s. No wonder, then, that it was Frontiere's last album as a leader, after which he occupied himself primarily scoring movies and television shows.

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