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Topic: John Williams..Not so Common

  1. #1

    John Williams..Not so Common


    TNC Jazz label recently released a CD called \"The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited\"

    This CD has some big band arrangemnets by John Williams. I\'m not a big fan of Williams or movie music in general...BUT, when I heard these williams\' arrangements I felt \"This guy really can write music!!\" With most movie music I feel composers can\'t and don\'t really strut their musical abilities because the medium isn\'t totally music centered.

    If you get this CD you may be pleasantly surprised, as I was, how much this Williams\' cat could write way before he was doing little minor 2nd ditties. (I was alos surprised to learn that Williams is/was an accomplished jazz pianist!!!!)

    Below is a description of the CD...featuring some very great jazz musicians.


    \"The Manne We Love: Gershwin Revisited\" (TNC Jazz Recordings) is a child of coincidence and consonance brought to maturity through a labor of love.

    Houghton, a busy jazz educator who has recorded with the likes of Woody Herman, Diana Krall, Joe Henderson and Lyle Mays, had become enamored with a 1965 recording by the Shelly Manne Quintet of Gershwin songs, arranged for quintet and big band by renowned composer-conductor John Williams.

    Houghton lusted for copies of Williams\' arrangements, when a chance contact with Manne\'s widow led to the discovery of the charts in a cabinet in her garage. \"It was like finding the Holy Grail,\" Houghton says in the liner notes.

    Eventually, Houghton pulled together a quintet with alto saxophonist Dan Higgins, trumpeter Clay Jenkins, pianist Stefan Karlsson and bassist Lou Fischer and headed for the recording studio.

    The group is abetted by the University of North Texas Two O\'Clock Lab Band in a resounding resurrection of Williams\' adventurous arrangements.

  2. #2

    Re: John Williams..Not so Common

    I had the tremendous good fortune to have played with Shelly Manne back in my college days here in Seattle for a couple of weeks. Our friendship continued on after that. What a fantastic musician! It is difficult to believe that a drummer could have been SO musical. It was Shelly who introduced me to so many musicians in L.A. and took to me to movie dates at Universal and elsewhere. I owe him my gratitude.

    If I remember correctly, Shelly and John Williams used to play at Shelly\'s club in L.A. called \"Shelly\'s Manne Hole\". Back then, I recall him being called \"Johnny Williams\".


  3. #3

    Re: John Williams..Not so Common

    That\'s great! Johnny Williams!!

    Hey, Dan, if you get a chance get this Steve Houghton CD with the Williams\' arrangements. I now have new found respect for Johnny\'s ability after hearing these tunes!!

    Shelley Mann...wow!!! Steve Houghton definitely holds his own on this CD as well!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. #4

    Re: John Williams..Not so Common

    I\'ll definitely check out this title. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    Dan Dean

  5. #5

    Re: John Williams..Not so Common

    Originally posted by Marty:
    With most movie music I feel composers can\'t and don\'t really strut their musical abilities because the medium isn\'t totally music centered.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">tsk tsk, [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I don\'t think you should ever try and tar averyone with the same brush. Look at all the
    flak that Danny Elfman recieved because he was self taught and from a rock background... people assumed that he must be using a team of ghost writers just because he didn\'t have a degree. Nonsense. Then we have the classical purists who always turn up thier noses at film music... but I wonder how well a Jazz composer could score a film? Many probably could not, but I\'m sure that many others could do it, it depends on the individual. Saying that film composers are in that career because they aren\'t capable of doing \"proper\" music, is wrong (which was the impression your post gave me).

    There are a lot of other skills that are required of a film composer other than the music composition....a good sense of drama is one, The fact that I hear some of the most dire and pathetic music in many computer games/television and occasionally film tells me that its not as easy as you suggest.... Miroslav is a jazz bassist I believe..and when i heard his orchestral attempt using his library...it was average at best (IMHO) Some composers can turn thier hands to many styles....others cannot. I don\'t think it matters where they start out (jazz,pop,rock, etc) so long as they are good at what they do.

    I cannot read music....I compose everything I do by ear...I cannot really play the keyboard particulary well... I\'ve only been composing for a couple of years and I don\'t have any degree\'s in music...I\'m self taught (this forum has been a great place to learn things).... I can bet you that If I ever got a film scoring gig, i\'d get lots of flak for \"not being a proper composer\". [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    Sorry about the passive rant [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    The end. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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