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How Thomas Newman’s Score For “American Beauty” Flipped The Script On Film Music

How Thomas Newman’s Score For “American Beauty” Flipped The Script On Film Music

With its 20th anniversary in sight, Sam Mendes' film American Beauty has received its share of both critical acclaim and controversy, but it is perhaps less often remembered for its groundbreaking and game-changing score. Guest post by Alex Wilson of Soundfly's Flypaper 2019 will be the 20th anniversary of Sam Mendes’ critically acclaimed and controversial film American Beauty. Anyone who ...

Skip Martin: TV Jazz Themes

Skip Martin: TV Jazz Themes

One of the first arrangers and bandleaders to take on Henry Mancini's music was Skip Martin (above). In the summer of 1958, Martin, one of the most prolific arrangers of the swing era, recorded TV Jazz Themes with his “video all stars" for Los Angeles's Somerset label. The six Mancini selections on the album from the ...

Jeff Sultanof On An Important Film Reborn

Jeff Sultanof On An Important Film Reborn

Composer, arranger, educator and jazz authority Jeff Sultanof occasionally honors Rifftides with his insights. This is one of those happy occasions. Jeff has seen a restoration of King Of Jazz, a pioneering film from the days when motion picture studios had decided that sound was here to stay. King Of Jazz: A Guest Review By Jeff ...

Bucks County’s Jazz Ambassador’s Eric Mintel lands new Jazz TV Talk show!

Bucks County’s Jazz Ambassador’s Eric Mintel lands new Jazz TV Talk show!

Bucks County’s Pennsylvania’s own, pianist and composer Eric Mintel has just landed the opportunity of a lifetime and a personal mission he has led for the past 25 years as bandleader of the Eric Mintel Quartet. In January Mintel will host his own TV show called Talking Jazz with Eric Mintel. The show will be taped ...

For Up-And-Coming Musicians, NPR’s Tiny Desk Can Be As Much Of A Boost As Late-Night TV

For Up-And-Coming Musicians, NPR’s Tiny Desk Can Be As Much Of A Boost As Late-Night TV

While being able to showcase their talents on late night TV has typically been the best launching pad for artists, but it seems a new venue for such jumpstarts to success has been found in the intimate setting of an NPR studio, or so the numbers would suggest. Guest post by Emily Blake of Next Big ...

Jazz Feel in New York Film

Jazz Feel in New York Film

Jazz was so potent in the 1950s that young experimental filmmakers in New York tried to express the improvisational feel with motion and abstraction. I've been doing a bit of research lately on the subject. Here are four of the best by the New York school of filmmakers with a fifth as a bonus. Here's D.A. ...

Roger Moore and Sinatra

Roger Moore and Sinatra

Roger Moore, who played a dashing secret agent in TV's The Saint and in seven James Bond films, died on May 23, 2017. He was 89. Though Roger wasn't a jazz musician and had nothing to do with music (the point of this blog), I had an opportunity to interview him for one of my Wall ...

Coltrane’s “Alabama” On TV

Coltrane’s “Alabama” On TV

Following the release of the John Coltrane Quartet’s album Live At Birdland, theband appeared on Ralph J. Gleason’s Jazz Casual program on public television. Here, Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones revisit “Alabama,” the high point of the Birdland album and a major musical statement about the brutality of racists who ...

Brownie Speaks Screening At The Monterey Jazz Festival on September 17

Brownie Speaks Screening At The Monterey Jazz Festival on September 17

Brownie Speaks: A Video Documentary about jazz legend Clifford Brown will be screened at the Monterey Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 5:30 PM. The event, which will include a Q&A with producer/director Don Glanden, will take place at the Jazz Theater. The film has received rave reviews and numerous accolades in the jazz ...