New takes on familiar film music for jazz quintet.
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Tom Artwick – saxophones/flute, arrangements
John D’Earth – trumpet
Bob Hallahan – piano
Paul Langosch – bass
Robert Jospé – drums
When selecting the pieces for this project, I quickly realized how much wonderful music the world of cinema has given us. How would I choose from such a large body of great works? Since these were to be jazz interpretations of movie themes, I wanted them to be conducive to perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of jazz — improvisation. While this narrowed the choice, there was still a very large number of pieces that fit the bill.
Of the remaining songs, many were very familiar. Some were too familiar, perhaps, as they had been performed myriad times by jazz artists. I felt like they didn’t need another rendering. Some of the songs on this recording may be familiar to you, and others may not. I hope we can introduce you to a few gems you may not have heard before.
My choices reflect a personal bias toward older film music, especially of the 1960s and ‘70s. These songs speak to me, both as a musician and as a person. I hope they speak to you, as well.
— Tom Artwick
Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
Alfie from Alfie (1966)
Alfie’s Theme from Alfie (1966)
I Wish I Knew from Diamond Horseshoe (1945)
The Odd Couple from The Odd Couple (1968)
Charade from Charade (1963)
Chanson des Jumelles from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)
Chanson de Maxence from Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967)
Happy Feet from Walk Don’t Run (1966)
In the Heat of the Night from In the Heat of the Night (1967)
The Pink Panther Theme from The Pink Panther (1963)
Samba de Orfeu from Orfeu Negro (1959)
I was unfamiliar with the name TOM ARTWICK until a CD titled Jazz Scenes: Music from the Movies (Max Frank Music – 005) arrived in the mail. It was sent to me by the disc’s producer Terry Vosbein, a colleague of Artwick on the music faculty at Washington and Lee University. The music on the album was recorded at the university’s John and Anne Wilson Hall in March of this year. Accompanying Artwick, who plays alto sax, tenor sax and flute, are trumpeter John D’Earth, pianist Bob Hallahan, bassist Paul Langosch and drummer Robert Jospé. The program is comprised of twelve compositions written for films. They open with the lovely Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley song “Pure Imagination” from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and conclude with “Samba de Orfeu,” a Luiz Bonfa composition for Black Orpheus. Along the way they visit tunes by the likes of Quincy Jones, Henry Mancini and Michel Legrand. Artwick is a terrific player on all of his instruments. D’Earth has a superb tone. Hallahan is an exceptional pianist whether comping or soloing. Langosch, who spent many years as the bassist for Tony Bennett, is consistently strong, and Jospé is a kicking good drummer. Put it all together, and you have a sparkling album, full of life and exceptionally well executed and recorded.
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