Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2011 November 14 • Monday

The 191st Soundtrack of the Week is the music from John Cassavetes's Faces.

The record contains "Music from the sound track, plus music inspired by the film". Albums with music "inspired by" have been common for a while, but how common were they in 1968?

The first track, "Love Is All You Really Want", has a definite In a Silent Way quality, with swirling electric piano and dreamy trumpet and electric guitar.

After this comes "I Dream of Jeannie", which begins with a Peter Thomas-like blast of reverby horns playing a slightly stiff line. Then it goes into the tune, with guitar handling the melody, then the horns return again for their somewhat bombastic figure. After that there's a piano solo, then the horns conclude the piece.

"Love Is All You Really Want (interlude)" begins as a reprise of the first piece but has stretches of quiet, melancholy atmosphere for piano and cello. Unexpectedly the band starts grooving like crazy about halfway through it, changing on a dime, as they say.

After that is "Love Has Conquered Man", a piece foreshadowed by the groove at the end of the last cut. This one also begins with Peter Thomas-like statements from the brass, and that kind of German sci-fi TV show music feeling is sustained throughout.

Then there's a song, "Never Felt Like This Before", composed and performed by Charlie Smalls. It's laid back, soulful and bluesy.

That does it for Side 1. Side 2 begins with an upbeat jazz combo interpretation of "Never Felt Like This Before", the same electric Miles Davis-like group heard on the first track of Side 1.

A reprise of "Love Is All You Really Want" begins with solo piano, then has a bass solo, and then strings and reeds come in.

After that is a swinging jazz version of "Deck the Halls".

This is followed by a vocal version of "Love Has Conquered Man". Judging by the quality of the recording and the presence of an audible audience (applause, etc.) this is probably from the actual film. It's a duet for male and female vocalist and features the bongos.

The last piece is "Faces", similar in mood and instrumentation to "Love Is All You Really Want" song. But who wrote it? Jack Ackerman is given composer credit for "Love Is All You Really Want". Jack Ackerman and Julie Gamble share the credit for "Love Has Conquered Man" and Charlie Smalls gets credit for "Never Felt Like This Before".

"I Dream of Jeannie" and "Deck the Halls" are obviously not original songs but it's strange that Jeannie's authors aren't mentioned here and that "Deck the Halls" isn't tagged "traditional".

The only other credits are "Album Produced, Conducted and Arranged by Teo Macero" except for "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Deck the Halls", which are "Arranged by Jay Cee; Conducted by Teo Macero".

I'm guessing that Jay Cee is John Cassavetes (JC). I wonder who the musicians are on this record.