Bob Sneider-Joe Locke Film Noir Project: Nocturne for Ava

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Bob Sneider-Joe Locke Film Noir Project: Nocturne for Ava In 2006, guitarist Bob Sneider and vibraphonist Joe Locke assembled a collective devoted to the jazz soundtrack of noir fiction called The Film Noir Project. That same year they released Fallen Angel (Sons of Sound). Switching labels, Sneider and Locke release their second Film Noir Project installment in Nocturne for Ava, honoring the brunette bombshell Ava Gardner and her contributions to the noir genre like the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's The Killers.

It is a subtle hypnotism Sneider and Locke perform by naming their collective The Film Noir Project. Billed as being dedicated to the spirit of the jazz soundtrack as part of film noir sets up certain expectations. Cleverly, The Film Noir Project immediately stimulates aural images of smoky saxophones and martini-bright brass complementing the environs of West Coast crime in the '40s and '50s. While this expectation is partially realized, The Project polishes the concept with brass cleaner to a high sheen.

Nocturne for Ava consists of eleven selections, eight of which are reinterpretations of noir soundtracks with the remainder being stylized realizations of the genre. The Project is nominally an octet, or sub-atomically a trumpet- saxophone quintet with guitar, vibes, and percussion. Sneider, Locke, and percussionist Luisito Quintero are the added degrees of freedom to this quintet equation that provide the noir atmospherics. An early example is Sneider and Locke weaving a gossamer spell beneath John Sneider's muted trumpet on Mark Isham's "Afterglow." The pair state the piece's extended melody languidly while drummer Tim Horner (using brushes) and pianist Paul Hofmann, equally languid, add color and grit.

Herbie Hancock's "Theme From Blow Up" is deftly stated by Hofmann and Locke and propelled by drummer Horner and percussionist Quintero. The musical effect is of a fast moving urban landscape like that of the movie's center of London. Of the originals, Sneider's "Black Dalia" and Locke's title piece readily mesh with the directed compositions in both execution and the atmosphere that results. The theme of film noir soundtrack works well and this group ably interprets the theme.

Track Listing: Last Tango In Paris; Afterglow; Theme From Blow Up; Laura; Black Dahlia; Windmills Of Your Mind; Nocturne For Ava; Kiss Me, Kill Me; I Want To Live Main Theme; Flirtibird; Los Feliz.

Personnel: John Sneider: trumpet; Grant Stewart: tenor; Bob Sneider: guitar; Joe Locke: vibes; Paul Hofmann: piano; Martin Wind: bass; Tim Horner: drums; Luisito Quintero: percussion.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream

Related Video


CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
Chick Corea Chick Corea
Bobby Hutcherson Bobby Hutcherson
Mike Mainieri Mike Mainieri
Gary Burton Gary Burton
Milt Jackson Milt Jackson
Ralph Towner Ralph Towner
Astor Piazzolla Astor Piazzolla
Stefon Harris Stefon Harris
Teddy Charles Teddy Charles
Steve Nelson Steve Nelson

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Uh Oh!" CD/LP/Track Review Uh Oh!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 30, 2016
Read "Swan Song" CD/LP/Track Review Swan Song
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Saga Thirteen" CD/LP/Track Review Saga Thirteen
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Equal Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Crossing
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!