JazzWax List: Detective Jazz - JazzWax

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September 12, 2011


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Fantastic! I love these swingin' themes. And, of course, some of the great players of the day were the original recording artists on these tracks!

Ed Leimbacher

Not sure if you want anthologies only, but Alex North cut one similar to the Bernstein you mention. Elmer alone was the Man with the Golden Pen (several of the titles shown above had individual albums too) but my own Desert Island fave is his music for TV show (Johnny) Staccato.

Mancini was the man of many, from Touch of Fear through variant versions of Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky to the (yes) pulse-pounding epitome, Experiment in Terror--and his Gunn music alone launched a half dozen "covers" including Shelly Manne's. Add another umpteen cop-a-crime albums by Nelson Riddle, Leith Stevens, Kenyon Hopkins, et al.

And what about all the juvie and hot rod pics? Heck, you could make a whole new version of Trivial PURSUIT just from the sorts of albums you've cited and invited.


Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of a Murder" with Duke Ellington's music!

Malcolm G. Moore, Jr.

Mr. Meyers,
I am very surprised that tonight in your article about "detective jazz" you omitted mention of the coolest "detective jazz" --The Music from the TV detective show-- "Peter Gunn.",Henry Mancini's wonderful soundtrack. Some great musicians play on this soundtrack including the likes of Pete Candoli,Ray Linn, Dick Nash, Jimmy Priddy, Milt Bernhart, JOHN GRAAS, Ronnie Lang, Barney Kessel, Victor Feldman, Paul Horn, JOHN WILLIAMS (piano), and Shelly Manne (yes I copying right off the liner note booklet.) Plus this music was very well recorded in stereo (compare the record quality, e.g. to Atlantic's recording of John Coltrane!). I must admit a bias in favor of this music. First big bands and especially big jazz bands like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman set me off on a lifetime journey of jazz and Henry Mancini's score from Peter Gunn especially energized and exited my palette for music especially jazz. I can't believe you overlooked this music, my friend.

Malcolm Moore

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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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