Vinyl Sunday (Part 2)

Okay, as with life, sometimes you have to take some chances.  I did that once before by gambling on a special 12″ single (click HERE) featuring baby duckies riding motorcycles and it totally paid off.  I made another such gamble this past week at ‘BJ’s Records & Nostalgia‘, by spending $9 on the soundtrack to the 1977 Clint Eastwood classic ‘The Gauntlet‘. The Gauntlet

First off, just look at that album cover.  How could you ever  resist that?  It’s got everything schlocky I love about the 70’s including muscles, guns and the exposed midriff of a scantily clad Sandra Locke.  It’s, like, uh-mazing!

Secondly, the album features the jazz of Jerry Fielding who composed and conducted the entire soundtrack.  Fielding was better known for creating avant-garde jazz soundscapes, but he tempers that angle of his approach here with elements of swinging big-band jazz, blues, and soul to create a series of tight, catchy instrumentals that are diverse enough to hold the listener’s interest but smooth enough to flow together nicely as an album.

The Gauntlet‘  nicely re-creates the feel of a cinematic experience by offering up an effectively balanced combination of gentle, soothing melodies (‘Bleak Bad Big City Dawn‘, which makes evocative use of Jon Faddis’ swinging trumpet lines over a mellow, piano-driven rhythm section) and driving, attention-getting action music (‘Manipulation on the Center Divider‘, which pits throbbing, Eastern-flavored percussion against percolating riffs from the horn section).  Fielding finds one showcase for avant-garde tendencies on ‘The Box Car Incident‘, which builds from synthesizer drones and one-note string lines into a burst of militaristic horns and percussion, but it remains melodic enough to be compelling listening. However, the album’s key cut is the title track, a stunning instrumental that combines jazz with traditional film orchestration to create a thrilling synthesis of swinging horns and taut, militaristic rhythms.  All in all, it’s a strong, consistently engaging album that is well worth a listen for any soundtrack buff whose tastes lean toward the “crime jazz” sound.

Best $8.99 I’ve spent, only, EVER!


About crazytigerrabbitman

I am a fat guy and always will be in the same way they say that “once an alcoholic; always an alcoholic”. Eventually I got upset about my poor health and ballooning body frame so I decided to change things for the better. Some people sign up for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or whatever fad diet program it is that happens to be occupying the majority of air time on the boob tube. Other people prefer to run out and purchase the latest, fold away, piece of shit being hawked by some celebrity has-been. Me? I decided to take up triathlon. I had abused my body over the years with bacon cheeseburgers, pints of beer and double-dipped donuts, and the time had now come to abuse my body with physical exertion, perseverance and hard work instead; penitence in it's purest form. The time had come to kick my ass. I am Terry Nash and I am the “fat and the furious”.
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