2011 February 14 • Monday
The 152nd Soundtrack of the Week is a Russ Meyer triple feature: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Lorna and Vixen. The material on this CD seems to have come right from the movies, with dialogue and sound effects. Perhaps isolated music tracks no longer exist.
R.I.P., Tura Satana, who passed away ten days ago.
The CD begins with her most famous movie, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, scored by Igo Kantor, Bert Shefter and Paul Sawtell. "Intro/ Run Pussy Cat" begins with a walking bass line and jazzy drumming and a narrator intoning about violence and sex. Then it goes right into the druggy rock theme song. This is for a go-go dancing scene and you can hear men yelling lustily at the dancers. Then you hear the women's motorcycles and the rhythm switches while a saxophone takes a solo. The rest of the track is Elmer Bernstein-influenced action jazz.
"The Race / The Killing" begins with some dialogue accompanied by an instrumental pop tune on the radio. More action jazz comes in, sounding similar to Bernstein's The Man with the Golden Arm.
"Mobile" is a cheery sort of tune for orchestra that could fit easily into a Disney movie. "The Break" finds us back in Man with the Golden Arm territory before a segue into an instrumental take on the main title song. It ends with a sultry sax break.
"Mysterioso Minor" sounds like horror or science fiction music at first. It's an orchestral piece with the strings sounding like they're accompanied by theremin. About halfway through it goes into some strip-club music, accompanied by dialogue from the film.
"The Snatch" begins as tense drama played by orchestra and ends in the same eerie way that "Mysterioso Minor" began.
The last track, "Show Down / Run Pussy Cat" begins with some classic Tura Satana lines. "Your old man's been blasted out of his wheels and your king-sized brother's been twisted like a pretzel. You're all that's left, lover. And you ain't gonna be around for long." Then there's some orchestral "fight" music, accompanied by screaming and the sounds of people pummeling each other. And then of course there's a reprise of the title song. "She's running fast and free / Child of the night."
Lorna has music by James Griffith and Hal Hopper. The first track, "The Escaped Prisoner", is a jazz workout for bass and drums, joined by dreamy harp. Then it goes into a bluesy swing with saxophone.
"Looking for a Woman" is a slow blues for bass and drums duo with a sax solo at the end.
"Lorna" is a ballad sung by Bob Grabeau. "Lorna, is it love you're missing? / Lorna, is the one you're kissing / The one you can call a true love?"
"Wham Bam Thank You Man" is "Lorna" played by solo electric guitar. Some dialogue and dreamy harp and percussion enter, then the music switches to uptempo modern jazz.
"Watching Lorna Swimming" begins with a drum solo before going into a version of "Lorna" with the flute playing the melody and the drummer interrupting with various statements. At times the flute stops for the drummer to solo, then the flute comes back in. Then saxophone takes over the theme.
The last track, "Together Again", again features "Lorna" played on the flute. Then an uptempo version of "Lorna" for jazz combo ends the Lorna material.
Igor Kantor wrote the music for Vixen. It begine with "The Bush Pilots", a bombastic, patriotic-sounding orchestral piece accompanied by the sounds of airplanes flying by.
"Vixen & The Constable" is a radical change of pace: light-headed, easy-listening music accompanied by the sounds of laughter, splashing water, heavy breathing and some suggestive dialogue.
"French Girl in Manhattan" combines ethereal wordless female vocals with echoey brass. Then electric bass and drums come in with something that sounds like electric harpsichord. Then it goes into a kind of psychedelic rock version of the same tune. I guess it's in 6/8. It's a pretty impressive miniature suite of music.
"Back on Solid Ground" ends the CD and begins with bongo-playing, electric bass, snare and other instruments creating an unsettling atmosphere that sounds like it's going to explode into action. Instead it settles into another of the dreamy, pretty, tranquilizing tunes before leaving you with a few seconds of upbeat music at the end
This is an excellent disc. I've had it a long time. I bought it at Kim's Video when it was on the second floor of the building on the corner of 2nd Avenue and St. Mark's Place.
Check out Dexter Romweber's song "Tura Satana" from the Flat Duo Jets album White Trees.