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Teasing the Korean

Twilight Zone Jazz

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I have touched on this sub-genre, which I will call "Twilight Zone Jazz" for a lack of a better name, in threads about the "Jazz in Paris" series and the "Panic In Year Zero" score by Les Baxter.

I am always interested in finding music that fits this category. I suppose that a certain percentage of Third Stream music would fit under this umbrella, but not all of it, at least among the Third Stream stuff I've encountered (I'm not an expert). Parts of "City of Glass" would qualify, but that is not truly part of the Third Stream, to my knowledge.

As I've written elsewhere, Twilight Zone jazz has a nervous, caffeine-jag, Freudian-nightmare-of-the-postwar-working-stiff quality. It often incorporates elements of post-bop, west coast jazz, and 20th century "serious" music. You may hear driving, hard bop drum and walking bass patterns, intense bongos, and twelve tone lines with extremes in pitch, going from piccolo flute to bass clarinet in a single bar. Then, everything may stop abruptly and the vibes, for example, will ring a sustained minor second interval for a few bars.

Some of the best examples of this music show up in late-1950s/early 1960s film and TV scores, often by "classical"-based composers with limited jazz experience. My favorite examples are Jerry Goldsmith's jazz themes that he composed for the Twilight Zone score library. Many, but not all, of these show up on the four-disc "Twilight Zone" soundtrack set.

In terms of "real" jazz, I have encountered this sound from time to time on mid-60s Blue Note sessions in which there is definite sense of structure while teetering on the brink of being "out," at least sonically if not structurally. A few obvious examples would be Eric Dolphy's "Out to Lunch," Joe Chambers compositions on a few different Bobby Hutcherson albums, and, IIRC, at least one track on Freddie Hubbard's "Hub Tones."

Some other examples would include the following:

* Andre Hodeir - parts of Jazz et Jazz

* Tom Dissevelt - 12-Tone Composition - This appears in its original form on the "Popular Electronics" box set; it was later hacked up for one of Dissevelt's musique concrete compositions on the "Song of the Second Moon" album.

* Fred Katz - Little Shop of Horrors OST - available on a Rhino LP at one time, not on CD AFAIK.

* Ernest Gold - Pressure Point OST - one of the best examples outside of Goldsmith's TZ cues.

* Leith Stevens - "Toss Me a Scalpal" from "The Interns"

* Marius Constant - Various stuff - I'm still looking for his collaboration with Martial Solal, "Stress." The more common Twilight Zone theme was edited from two longer pieces which are, AFAIK, unavailable.

* Leonard Rosenman - parts of The Chapman Report OST.

What are some good examples of this sound that I may be missing?

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Yes, I should have mentioned Kenyon Hopkins. He did a number of things along the way that have this sound.

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Also, Ran Blake, in his more "Bernard Herrmann Meets Duke Ellington" moments... SHORT LIFE OF BARBARA MONK being a good starting place.

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Thanks for sharing. I'll check that out.

I should add that some of Pete Rugolo's and Eddie Sauter's stuff fits this category.

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What immediately struck me on reading your first post was "Staccato's theme" - I forget who did it. It was the theme - and there was a lot of jazz in the series - for John Cassavetes' TV detective series. The theme was a pop hit here in '59. It was on Capitol.

MG

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What immediately struck me on reading your first post was "Staccato's theme"...

Yes, MG, thank you. That is by Elmer Bernstein, whose soundtrack album came out on Capitol in the states. Not sure if anyone else had a hit single of the theme; I know Mancini's "Peter Gunn" was covered by Ray Anthony on Capitol.

Yes, there are some parts of that album, as well as parts of EB's "Man with the Golden Arm" soundtrack that have this sound; although IIRC much of the Stacatto album is more in a general west coast vibe, but still great throughout.

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I know Mancini's "Peter Gunn" was covered by Ray Anthony on Capitol.

Ray Anthony had a top twenty hit in the US with Peter Gunn, but I don't think it was a hit over here. Nor Mancini's version. Duane Eddy got to #4 in the UK pop charts with it - a classic cut. But it wasn't released as a single in the US, just an album track. It wasn't much like Twilight Zone Jazz, though :)

MG

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Twilight Zone jazz has a nervous, caffeine-jag, Freudian-nightmare-of-the-postwar-working-stiff quality. It often incorporates elements of post-bop, west coast jazz, and 20th century "serious" music. You may hear driving, hard bop drum and walking bass patterns, intense bongos, and twelve tone lines with extremes in pitch, going from piccolo flute to bass clarinet in a single bar. Then, everything may stop abruptly and the vibes, for example, will ring a sustained minor second interval for a few bars.

Some of the best examples of this music show up in late-1950s/early 1960s film and TV scores, often by "classical"-based composers with limited jazz experience.

Something like Irving Joseph's Murder Inc. fits this description , but then so would quite a lot of so-called 'crime-jazz' I think .

There's a bunch of stuff on this list that you probably either already have or would like to have .

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Something like Irving Joseph's Murder Inc. fits this description , but then so would quite a lot of so-called 'crime-jazz' I think .

I agree about parts of Murder Inc.. I have lots of crime jazz, but honestly I think only a small percentage of it gets into the territory I'm describing. For example, the only Mancini that gets into this area is some of the dramatic underscore from "Touch of Evil." It is possible that more of Mancini's underscores contained this kind of stuff, but Mancini rarely included this type of music in his soundtrack albums, which focused more on the pop/straight ahead content.

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Spinning a bunch of Blue Note CDs right now.

"The Omen" by Bobby Hutcherson (on "Happenings") is a good example of TZ jazz.

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Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra!

100% Cotton is awesome!

Also Jerry Goldsmith's In Like Flint/Our Man Flint fits this genre perfectly.

Lou

Edited by theteach

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Not to forget this atmospheric gem from Dizzy Reece:-

reeceNowhereEP.jpg

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Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra!

100% Cotton is awesome!

Also Jerry Goldsmith's In Like Flint/Our Man Flint fits this genre perfectly.

Lou

I have all of these. They are great albums, but respectfully, they are not in the sub-genre I'm focusing on.

Another GREAT example are a few of the Chico Hamilton tracks from the "Sweet Smell of Success" album.

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Speaking of Chico Hamilton, have you tried the music of Krzysztof Komeda for Polanski's 'Repulsion' with Chico Hamilton featured for music as intriguing as the film?

Other music from Komeda certainly worth exploring too!

Edited by brownie

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Chico is on "Cul de sac"? Wasn't aware of that!

He wrote a great score for "Repulsion"!

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Chico is on "Cul de sac"? Wasn't aware of that!

He wrote a great score for "Repulsion"!

In my head only. Meant 'Repulsion', of course...

... and correcting my previous post!

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Speaking of Chico Hamilton, have you tried the music of Krzysztof Komeda for Polanski's 'Repulsion' with Chico Hamilton featured for music as intriguing as the film?

Other music from Komeda certainly worth exploring too!

I have the film "Repulstion" but not the score. Has it been released? The CD that was supposed to come out a few years back got delayed, and then I lost track.

Yes, very into Komeda also, but don't have too much of this stuff. I need to get more.

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Speaking of Chico Hamilton, have you tried the music of Krzysztof Komeda for Polanski's 'Repulsion' with Chico Hamilton featured for music as intriguing as the film?

Other music from Komeda certainly worth exploring too!

I have the film "Repulstion" but not the score. Has it been released? The CD that was supposed to come out a few years back got delayed, and then I lost track.

Britain's Harkit released some of the music. Details.

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Thanks for including Out to Lunch in your examples; I hate it when I think I know what someone's saying, but I actually don't. That one made it obvious.

It's been a while since I heard it, but I'm thinking the soundtrack to the B-movie Bucket of Blood would fit right in here.

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It's been a while since I heard it, but I'm thinking the soundtrack to the B-movie Bucket of Blood would fit right in here.

Yes, is that the one about the beat poets? IIRC, it has a similar approach to Fred Katz's "Little Shop of Horrors," which is a definitive example of what I'm talking about.

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OK, how about this one? Francois Rabbath's New Sound of Jazz/1st lp. I had the Philips lp waaaaay back when I was collecting exotica/strange music, and gave it to my best friend at the time, a musician who was enthralled by the wild cello sounds that Rabbath achieved. I found the cd a month ago and the music is as inventive and creepy as I remembered it.

Rabbath

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I think I've mentioned this recording before in another context, but it also seems to fit here:

Rob Schwimmer, THEREMIN NOIR (yes, a theremin-led trio completed by Uri Caine and Mark Feldman)

schwimmer5.jpg?w=300&h=288

More info: http://www.polygraphlounge.com/Rob/thereminnoir.html

This sounds like a record I would like, but it seems to be out of print.

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