451

Gary Smulyan: High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Gary Smulyan: High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine This tribute album by baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan features his bebop-based nonet pulling inspiration from a 1956 album by pop singer Frankie Laine (1913-2007) and trumpeter Buck Clayton. As Laine's foray into jazz's '50s mainstream, Jazz Spectacular (Columbia) represented a piece of the singer's repertoire not as well-known as his pop music. It allowed him to interact with instrumentalists of the era who represented jazz authority and had little to do with themes such as "High Noon," "Mule Train," "Cool Water," "Rawhide," "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" and the more recent "Blazing Saddles" and "3:10 to Yuma." Laine did not sing on the soundtrack for High Noon, but did record it as another of his Western-based hits.

On Smulyan's album, "High Noon" is hardly recognizable. While the ten songs come from a broad spectrum of Laine's career, each has been rearranged by Mark Masters to fit a nonet akin to that found on Miles Davis' The Birth of the Cool (Capitol, 1949), with similar instrumentation, a pervading blues quality and soulful soloing. Here, "High Noon"'s theme dances in and out of dense harmony and "gunfight" choruses traded between French horn and trombone, and alto sax and trumpet. On bass clarinet, Scott Robinson's lengthy intro clears the main street of town while Smulyan closes the piece with one big booming chorus after another.

Laine wrote the lyrics for "A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry," "Torchin'" and "We'll Be Together Again," all which come with heavy blues overtones. Smulyan's horn sings like the original, his nonet providing plenty of jazz atmosphere, affixing a balance to the eclectic quality of Laine's emotional Italian-American crooning melded with whiplash cowboy stories.

Track Listing: I'd Give My Life; High Noon; Torchin'; It Only Happens Once; Baby, Baby All the Time; When You're in Love; Put Yourself in My Place, Baby; A Man Ain't Suppose to Cry; That Lucky Old Sun; We'll Be Together Again.

Personnel: Gary Smulyan: baritone saxophone; Mark Masters: arranger; Joe Magnarelli: trumpet; John Clark: French horn; Dick Oatts: alto saxophone; Scott Robinson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; John Fedchock: trombone; Pete Malinverni: piano; Andy McKee: bass; Steve Johns: drums.

Title: High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Reservoir Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "The Duo - Live!" CD/LP/Track Review The Duo - Live!
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Which Craft?" CD/LP/Track Review Which Craft?
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Apocalypse Live" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse Live
by Martin Longley
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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