Give the Drummer Some's
Favorite Downloads from the MP3 Blogosphere
Welcome to the first-ever ALL SOUNDTRACKS installment (non-Bollywood division) of Mining the Audio Motherlode. Though my appreciation of film music is nothing new (read this short piece I posted back in 1998), I've been obsessing on the subject more than usual this past week thanks to a tip from a long-time listener of my radio program Give the Drummer Some. During my show last Friday, Listener Annie (who herself writes contemplative and lovely ruminations on nature and food here) hipped me to a Curtis Harrington–directed picture Night Tide from 1961 starring Dennis Hopper (in his first lead role) with some absolutely fantastic music sequences.
Here is the whole blessed film:
The score by David Raksin is a thrill throughout, but if you don't have 85 minutes to spare, check out the sizzling "Blue Grotto" sequence (at 2:28) and the campy "white girl dances to ethnic drumming" scene (at 27:07). Thanks Annie!
Another major inspiration for this movie-themed post can be found in the landmark five-volume compilation served up as the first offering below.
It's Only Ketchup
In celebration of the Halloween season, musician/graphic artist Nate Ashley along with the proprietor of the exceptional blog Ghostcapital have teamed up to launch this ambitious five-volume compilation of the loveliest scary music you're ever going to hear. Skip over the rest of my pithy wisecracks and climb aboard each one of these velvet-lined capsules plummeting straight into celluloid hell.
Mal Waldron ~ "Sweet Love, Bitter"
(Blog: Book of Prayer)
The theme of this 1967 film—"angry black artist, simultaneously grateful and resentful for the adoration of his white patrons, OD's on hate and smack"—sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a James Baldwin novel. (I adore James Baldwin.) The film actually is based on Night Song by the wonderful writer John A. Williams, who wove more than a few autobiographical sinews into the story. The film's protaganist, embittered sax player Richie "Eagle" Stokes, is played by Dick Gregory.
Sergio Ricardo & Glauber Rocha ~ "Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol"
The Devil You Know
"Uma câmera na mão e uma ideia na cabeça" ("a camera in the hand and an idea in the head") was a fitting manifesto for the revolutionary Brazilian film movement Cinema Novo, for which 1964's Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol was a crowning achievement. I love this recording because director Glauber Rocha saw to it personally that several melodramatic orations given by the film's lead actors be included.
Riz Ortolani ~ "I Giorni dell'Ira"
(Blog: San Pasquale Ent.)
Being an Italian soundtrack composer is a tough gig. If the colossus Ennio Morricone doesn't blot out your sun, then Nino Rota's hulking talent surely casts one hell of a shadow. One of my favorite film scorers is Riz Ortolani, who earned his way into the pantheon in 1962 with his soundtrack (with Nino Oliviero) for Mondo Cane. Ortolani would go on to produce work for more than 200 films, including Tonino Valerii's classic Spaghetti Western I Gironi dell'Ira. Gorgeous stuff. Plenty of tuneful clips are posted on Ortolani's Facebook page.
Sun Ra ~ "Sun Ra & the Blues Project Do Batman and Robin"
(Blog: WFMU's Beware of the Blog)
Takes One Caped Crusader to Know Another
Technically this isn't a soundtrack, but it also isn't the "Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale" either. Originally posted here on Beware of the Blog back in 2006, it was then described as "one of the greatest uncredited session combos of all time, including the core of Sun Ra's Arkestra and Al Kooper's Blues Project." Ka-Pow!
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