134

Various Artists: Blonde

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
The moody "Theme from Blonde," with Roy Hargrove's mellow trumpet in the spotlight, sets the stage for an album of relaxed swing and throwbacks to an earlier, comfortable period. Marilyn Monroe was a product of the big band era. It affected her tastes in music ... and other things. She later helped launch Playboy magazine. Now, a television mini-series based on the life of Monroe helps launch Concord's Playboy Jazz label. Patrick Williams' songs and arrangements depict a life of glamour and fabled success that is undermined by nagging questions and mystery. Suave tenor saxophonists Scott Hamilton and Plas Johnson recall an era when jazz was "cool" and simple. Like the life of Marilyn Monroe, jazz was not over-analyzed, back then, to the point of trivialization. How times have changed.

Gregg Field and Warren Luening lead a terrific selection that recalls the mesmerizing power of Gene Krupa. Bill Watrous and Plas Johnson trade solos on a mellow big band ballad. Similarly, Kenny Burrell and Mike Lang trade off in a heated Count Basie kind of affair. James Moody's conversation with the orchestra on "Me and my Baby" changes the scene slightly, as the veteran smokes an improvised affair to heat things up. The jazz standard "Three Little Words" features Watrous and clarinetist Terry Harrington. Luening's ballad feature, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," adds a touch of class, while Dennis Rowland's vocal selection summarizes the film's searing passion and lonelier moments.

Concord Records has selected from the finest of L.A.'s big band artists to produce the soundtrack for this mini-series and inaugural Playboy label release. The mood that Patrick Williams captures is both genuine and fresh.


Track Listing: Theme fromBlonde; Party Time; The Blues for Norma Jean; The Road to My Heart; Cool Pads; Heat (The Slow Burn); Chelsea Bridge; The Big Time Bounce; One Sunny Day; Firelight; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; You're My Dream; Easy Street; Me and My Baby; Three Little Words; The Road to My Heart.

Personnel: Ray Brown- bass; Kenny Burrell- guitar; Roy Hargrove, Snooky Young- trumpet; Bill Watrous- trombone; Plas Johnson, Scott Hamilton, James Moody- tenor saxophone; Dennis Rowland- vocal; Orchestra: Mike Lang- piano; Chuck Berghofer- bass; Gregg Field- drums; Mundell Lowe- guitar; Larry Bunker- vibraphone; Warren Luening, Wayne Bergeron- trumpet; Dan Higgins- alto saxophone; Terry Harrington- tenor saxophone, clarinet; Lee Callett- baritone saxophone; Endr

Title: Blonde | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Playboy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Float Upstream CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Extremophile CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Setembro CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read The Source CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read Aqustico vol 2 CD/LP/Track Review Aqustico vol 2
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 25, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Playgrounds" CD/LP/Track Review Playgrounds
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "A Woman's Work..." CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Work...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "E.S.T. Symphony" CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.