Various Artists: Blue Movies: Scoring For The Studios
Another volume in 'The Blue Series', the deceptively titled 'Blue Movies' (actually compiled from a variety of (now) Capitol owned labels such as Blue Note, Pacific Jazz, Roulette and Tower, and a quarter of the cuts originating with TV) is one of the better entries in the series. Featuring a few rarities, a couple of absolute classics and only a few duds, the thematic coherence of 'Blue Movies' may be contrived but there's plenty to like.
Drawing from the 60's and early 70's, this compilation is mainly a testament to the quality of the music being written for the screen during that era. Only two (Billy Taylor's 'I Wish I Knew How' and Grant Green and Diane Reeves' 'Down Here on the Ground') were not immediately recognizable.
The highlights include Bobby Hutcherson's masterful take on Herbie Hancock's them from 'Blow Up!' (though his take on the 'Theme From MASH' is shockingly lame), John Patton's version of Sonny Rollins' 'Alfie's Theme' (which may be a shock to those expecting the Bacharach tune) and Wilton Felder's little known (but excellent) theme from 'Bullitt'. For the collectors there's a Lee Morgan 45-version of John Barry's theme from 'Midnight Cowboy', which, like the version from the actual soundtrack, features Toots Thielemans on harmonica.
At the end of the disc, the listener is left to wonder where the Three Sounds got their version of 'Star Trek' and why Groove Holmes was ever reduced to recording the theme from 'Love Story'.