Mundell Lowe: TV Action Jazz - JazzWax

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August 12, 2010


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Claude Neuman

Ah yes, we remember what american TV was like in 1959... and film ... and music ... and what they turned into in the sixties... would there be a link, a common cause by any chance ... ?

The OST of the Mike Hammer series was pretty great itself, by the way :


In 1959 tv was the most important thing in life, after football, although I don't remember actually watching any of those shows except for Perry Mason. A friend claims that he and his brothers would start marching around the living room whenever the theme for that show came on. Jerry Goodman (from Mahavishnu) recorded a heavy rock version in the '80s on an album called "It's Alive." The Nelson Riddle clip was so cool that I kind of wished that you had put in a link for that album (if there is one.)

Ed Leimbacher

A small correction: I believe you'll find that, rather than a separate TV show and theme, "Fallout!" was one of Mancini's Peter Gunn compositions. I can almost hear that walking bass and screaming trumpet as I'm hitting the keys--in fact, I'm getting up to put the album on right now. (West really is best for Mancini's tunes.)


Shelly Manne recorded three excellent albums of music from "Peter Gunn." The one called "Jazz Gunn" also includes versions of his own music for another show called "Daktari."

Bruce Armstrong

A gem that has long been out of print was done back in the early 60s by arranger (and former Kenton trombonist) Harry Betts: "Jazz Soul of Dr Kildare & Other TV Themes." It was on the short-lived AVA label. The arrangements were outstanding and the band featured the cream of the West Coast jazz musicians of that era: Bud Shank, Frank Rosolino, Jack Sheldon, etc. I bought the LP in high school and still have it. Its worn condition is a testament to how much playing time it received! I would love to have it on CD but never was able to track a copy down.

Steve Provizer

And, of course, Riddle's great theme to "Route 66."

John P. Cooper

Interesting that RCA issued the 2 Lowe LPs on their RCA CAMDEN budget label instead of their full priced RCA VICTOR. I wonder why?

Jon Foley

Fernando Ortiz de Urbina has reminded me that today, August 14th, would have been the 80th birthday of the great pianist/vibist Eddie Costa. If you're an Eddie Costa fan and you don't own the "TV Action Jazz" CD Marc mentions above, you're missing one of his greatest recordings. His playing on it is nothing short of astounding. Get it! (And if you don't know about Eddie Costa, by all means get this CD; you'll want to get all his others after hearing this one).

Claue Neuman

The Music from M-Squad :

Starring Benny Carter, Frank Rosolino, Don Fagerquist…


Claude Neuman

Shorty Rogers in "Peter Gunn" :

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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