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  1. #1

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    I was first turned on to Jazz as a kid watching reruns of Peter Gunn. The musical score of this show, and many others from that time, made an impression on me and is what I first thought of as being what Jazz music was about.

    I was wondering if anyone here who is familiar with this TV show could tell me what type of Jazz this was. My understanding is that it is considered to be Cool Jazz, kind of like Miles Davis brought about.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Mancini jazz. He created jazzy scores that became staples of the jazz genre. He was a big chicken in that chicken/egg argument...or was he an egg?
    Pink Panther
    Moon River
    Dreamsville
    Baby Elephant Walk

    and so many more. All written for TV or film. All became standards for a sound that we associate with jazz.

  4. #3

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    I'd also include in that genre, maybe even a standard of that genre, the old Perry Mason theme.

    I've always called it "Jazz Noir" because it goes with a certain kind of "film noire" and television show.


  5. #4

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    Darrell Brogdon, host of Kansas Public Radio's Retro Cocktail Hour ('Music that’s shaken, not stirred') calls this style of music 'private-eye jazz'.

    There are eight million stories in the naked city; this has been one of them.



  6. #5

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    yes, it's TV jazz or movie jazz. mostly composed.

  7. #6

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    A classic score from a classic movie:

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I
    I've always called it "Jazz Noir" because it goes with a certain kind of "film noire" and television show.
    I like that-"Jazz Noir" I can just see Humphrey Bogart sitting in a seedy night club nursing a Scotch and soda!

    See also Miles Davis's "Lift to the Scaffold"

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    yes, it's TV jazz or movie jazz. mostly composed.
    During the 60's most of the hollywood studios had arrangers or composers who were also people who were no strangers to jazz.
    The big band accents were evident in

    Dating from the 50's, this theme set an entire generation's ear to know latin or cuban rhythms and big band sounds

    Pianist Vince Guaraldi was hired to create a theme for a 30 minute TV special. It opened America to jazz and they didn't even know it.

    Listen to the jazzy rhythm section under the bluesy orchestration


    Jazz made it big for a while when it TV and Movie studios were the welfare for jazz musicians.
    Steve Allen, the proto-Johnny Carson was a huge jazz champion... even Mr Rogers was hip

  10. #9

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    Usually . . . Big Band Jazz played by some of the finest studio musicians on the planet. The genre would be "TV/Movie Theme Songs."
    Play live . . . Marinero

  11. #10

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    Mr Rogers featured Joe Negri every now and then, and once had both Kenny Burrell and Negri play together on a show. That video has been posted here by someone.

  12. #11

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    Yes indeed.

    This does seem to be a little genre of its own.

    And I am not just referring to the theme songs - the background music for the scenes are also, well, Jazzy. I really notice the use of flutes, xylophones, and even sometimes bongos/percussion in different scenes. And of course, you have the horn section punctuating pivotal moments with a blaring sense of urgency. It seems to often be a kind of minor Jazz in these film noir shows.

    It is making my viewing of these old Peter Gunn shows (circa 1960, I believe) that much more enjoyable.

  13. #12

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    I like the term DF and WB use: "fake jazz"
    They've admitted to being influenced by Mancini and TV themes of that era, saying in an interview that they like "fake jazz and fake fake jazz."

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug B
    I like that-"Jazz Noir" I can just see Humphrey Bogart sitting in a seedy night club nursing a Scotch and soda!

    See also Miles Davis's "Lift to the Scaffold"
    Well Bogart didn't make a noir film with a jazz score. His Warner Bros. films (E.g. The Big Sleep), used scores from WB studio composer Max Steiner. My second hobby (after jazz guitar) is American Studio-Era films, and especially noir films.

    Very few 40s noirs feature jazz scores, but some had some great jazz scenes (mostly nightclub\bar scenes that featured jazz music\musicians): E.g. DOA (1949), Phantom Lady (1944, where Elisha Cook plays a jazz drummer with passion (because he was high), and the Mickey Rooney film, The Strip (1951), where Rooney plays a jazz drummer (and Rooney did play drums).

    Later 50s noirs feature full-on jazz scores composed by and played by jazz pros: The Sweet Smell of Success (1957) - a combination of a score by Elmer Bernstein and the Chico Hamilton Quarter (Hamilton had a full score for the film but it was rejected for this "fusion" type score).

    My favorite jazz influenced noir is Odds Against Tomorrow (1959): The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet. The soundtrack album was released on the United Artists label in 1959. To realize his score, Lewis assembled a 22-piece orchestra, which included MJQ bandmates Milt Jackson on vibraphone, Percy Heath on bass, Connie Kay on drums, Bill Evans on piano and Jim Hall on guitar.
    Last edited by jameslovestal; 07-28-2021 at 04:46 PM.

  15. #14

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    From 'Lynn's Blues', Peter Gunn series 1, episode 7; song by Bobby Troup; Billy Bean on guitar.


  16. #15

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    I love this thread!! Finally after all these years I found out where - subconsiously - a lot of influences and inspiration came from for many of the tunes I write!

    I have been searching for quite some time now for these 'genres' (if you can call them that).

    My tune 'French Fries' is clearly inspirated by that 50/60s TV-tune vibe!



    And the 'Jazz Noir' must have been inspiration for many tunes I wrote for singer Eva La Voix, like this one:



    Thanks guys, this is an eye-opener!! Now I can pinpoint my search for inspirations a bit better!
    (And now I have to make big band arrangements for these songs....;-) )
    Last edited by Little Jay; 07-28-2021 at 05:51 PM.

  17. #16

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    This may be the ultimate film noir that used jazz b/c not only did the great Johnny Mandel write an outstanding jazz score, the protagonist, played by Susan Hayward, is a woman facing the gas chamber. She's a huge jazz fan (white jazz, anyway---this is '50s Hollywood. They did sneak in Art Farmer, who was in Mulligan's group then) and the music of Gerry Mulligan and other West coasters---who have cameos---keep her going...

    Last edited by joelf; 07-28-2021 at 08:07 PM.

  18. #17

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    Well it ain’t jazz, but for many years as a young’un’ I thought this was how jazz cats partied down…


  19. #18

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    First album I ever bought was "Music From Peter Gunn" in about 1961-ish. Still have it on CD and still one of my favorites. I also have the complete series on DVD. Just great stuff IMHO. Can't get enough of "Dreamsville". I think Bob Bain played on that stuff (?).

  20. #19

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    Don't forget Stan Kenton/June Christy composer/arranger Pete Rugolo. Scored, arranged and conducted many tv shows and movies back in the day.
    I recently purchased a box set of the original Fugitive series on DVD and his music is as good as the show, which is superb.


  21. #20

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    Elmer Bernstein



    Again, this time with a lush and the voice of Brook Benton.


  22. #21

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    As a person who spent more than half of my life devoted to playing pool (straight pool/9 ball), this was one of my favorite films and a first class music score that is followed by some great clips from the movie. Hope you enjoy.
    Play live . . . Marinero


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    As a person who spent more than half of my life devoted to playing pool (straight pool/9 ball), this was one of my favorite films and a first class music score that is followed by some great clips from the movie. Hope you enjoy.
    Play live . . . Marinero

    The Hustler has a fine film score by Kenyon Hopkins who was a first rate jazz composer. A noir where he did the score is Mr. Buddwing.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    The Hustler has a fine film score by Kenyon Hopkins who was a first rate jazz composer. A noir where he did the score is Mr. Buddwing.
    Great, dark film BTW---though why jazz always seemed to mean city noir grit in that period....

    It was remade as The Color of Money. I believe Tom Cruise starred, with Paul Newman in the Minnesota Fats role. A Martin Scorcese (sp?) film...

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Great, dark film BTW---though why jazz always seemed to mean city noir grit in that period....

    It was remade as The Color of Money. I believe Tom Cruise starred, with Paul Newman in the Minnesota Fats role. A Martin Scorcese (sp?) film...
    The Color of Money wasn't a remake; Newman played the same character (Fast Eddie Felson), in both films.

    Tom Cruise starred and this is one of his films that I enjoy (well mostly due to Newman, but Cruise was a good foil for him).

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    The Hustler has a fine film score by Kenyon Hopkins who was a first rate jazz composer. A noir where he did the score is Mr. Buddwing.
    Hi, J,
    What do you think about Bergman--my favorite film director? And, his favorite composer--Nordgren? Here's some music from the "Seventh Seal."
    Play live . . . Marinero