The Man With The Golden Arm - Elmer Bernstein
As previously promised, we kick off our Feast of Bernstein with a particularly meaty selection and one of Bernstein's most popular efforts. Based on the Nelson Algren novel, it was one of the first films to deal seriously with the subject of drug addiction, with Frank Sinatra as card dealer/jazz drummer/junkie, Frankie Machine, who attempts to kick his habit for good.
Jazz had been used in movies well before MGA, but Bernstein's score is notable for using jazz as a continuous element in the score... it's not just limited to scenes set in a club. The score really sells the depths of Machine's addiction.
This is from the Decca LP - many have covered the main theme, and even Bernstein has conducted it on several compilations -- none of those have the heft and kick of the original, and that's mainly due to the musicians involved... the jazz sequences were arranged by Shorty Rogers and played by his Giants - Pete Candoli, trumpet; Milt Bernhart, trombone; Bud Shank, Alto; Bob Cooper, Tenor; Ralph Pena, Bass; Shelly Manne, drums and Rogers on the flugelhorn. Shelly Manne supervised the drumming sequences and Fred Steiner (TWILIGHT ZONE, PERRY MASON, STAR TREK, BULLWINKLE) did the orchestrations.
Jazz fans should eat this up... and if you haven't heard much early Bernstein, this is when he was just getting started...
Check it out
Look for a couple more selections coming to round out our Feast - another early score and something from his later years.
If you haven't yet, feel free to check the archives for other selections... most of those links are still functional, and I did do some re-uploading.
Rogepost tends to be a bit screwy from time to time - some selections that I thought had been purged turned out not to have been - probably due to the periodic site 'maintenance' done from time to time. If it appears that something is not downloading, be patient; try back in a couple of days or so... more than likely, it'll reappear again.