Monday, May 11, 2009

Book Excerpt of the Day

"A sure sign that jazz had found a home in Hollywood came in ’56 when Elmer Bernstein earned an Academy Award® nomination for The Man with the Golden Arm. The film’s gritty subject matter — heroin addiction — may have opened many eyes to the dangers hounding modern man, but the score opened audience ears to the high drama of hard-driving horn blasts, sultry woodwinds, rumbling bass and crashing percussion. No crime theme seems to swing harder than “Frankie Machine.” The brass screams against a backdrop of jackhammer percussion. On “The Fix,” the same theme takes on a nightmarish urgency. On “Desperation,” rumbling discordant piano and locomotive drums capture the single-minded obsession of the junkie. Golden Arm is simply one of the genre’s most iconic scores."

– from Chapter 1: Crime Jazz and Felonious Funk of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979

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