Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2016 April 25 • Monday

This obscure jazz score that pianist/composer George Gruntz came up with for Mental Cruelty, a Swiss movie from 1960, is the 410th Soundtrack of the Week.

This is a solid jazz album that fits right in with what was happening in music at the time, recalling both post-bop "modern" jazz as well as Miles Davis's "cool" period and some of what was happening on the west coast. There are also a blues, a waltz and assorted other flavors.

Since it's a score, there are several versions of a main theme, different takes, different moods (romance, etc.).

Many of the cues are quite short, which is a bit startling. To take one example, the "Latin Stroll on Theme" would be more than welcome to stay for longer than 45 seconds.

The main theme itself is quite nice, with a wistful quality of a kind that often suggests "soundtrack" to people.

Everybody plays great but the real star here is drummer Kenny Clarke, whose energy, tastefulness and creativity make this a really happening session.