Good Ripped And Torn Blues Score!
by Victor Valentine (October 4, 2006)
Moanin' in the gutter blues score from Jack Nitzsche performed by John Lee Hooker, Miles Davis, Taj Mahal and others is a true gem in a catalogue reference of the all to seldom examples of what makes the human race relevant and real.
This is dusty, down in the dirt true blues. Not a watered down emulation for exploitation purposes.
If you happen to need reminded of how truly misrable life is down there in the bottom of the hole the music on this disc will serve as that reminder.
One of the many score recordings by Nitzsche that is well worth the minutes of your life to experience! *****
Most talented group
When the movie came out, a modern film noir, the stand out features to me were the script and the music. Here I'll talk about the music. What superb contempary music that fits well in the with long summer days as the human drama the unfolds before the eyes. The vocals, by John Lee Hooker, gives a painful objurgation at human nature. The cool/blue horn of Miles Davis gives a solitary notion of a individual human struggling with his passion and greed. Add Roy Rogers and Taj Mahal guitars' accretions too this poignancy, you have a melancholy that is aggraviting existence. Even Track #11 "Murder" seems a delight blow to the conscience.
Still great blues. But what about the price???
I wrote a review of this CD on here 3 years ago. I loved it then, and I love it now. Looking for something else, I came across it today at Amazon.co.uk,... If you blues-loving Americans have anything else to buy across the pond, add this CD to the list. Even with import duty it'll save you a dollar or two on buying it in the States, if you don't pay a fortune on freight. Quite why an American CD is so much cheaper in the UK than in its country of origin is a question Amazon might like to address sometime. I'd love to know the answer!
A lost opportunity...
Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal together on the same album: Wow!... well not quite. The problem is that this eclectic combination was put together specifically to play a Jack Nitzchse composed movie score. As soundtracks go it's good - lot's of drifting, atmospheric playing that's ideally suited to building cinematic moods - but, out of context, a great deal of it sounds like what, of course, it is: the music without the movie.
On track after track John Lee Hooker puts in a tour-de-force of deep blues "groans" (so good that they're regularly sampled), Miles Davis inserts trumpet stabs to die for and Taj Mahal (supported by Tim Drummond, Earl Palmer & Roy Rogers) provides superbly earthy backings. But... after 13 often quite similar, low-key offerings it gets (dare I say it) a bit boring. So, why buy it? Well... it's an intriguing one-off mix of brilliant artists, it's great background music and, it contains three real gems: "Gloria's Story" (featuring some beautiful solos from Miles Davis) and the virtually identical "Bank Robbery" & "End Credits" where the group let rip with some wonderfully burning jazz-blues to provide an insight into what treats could have been on offer in a less constrained situation. A lost opportunity but worth the money all the same.