Friday, March 25, 2011

Peter Erskine Quartet: Standards 2: Movie Music

Fuzzy Music
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Standards 2: Movie Music

The 2008 album Standards, featuring the trio of pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Peter Erskine, received a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental. Now, three years later, we finally have a follow-up. The delay resulted, in part, from the sad death of Carpenter, who was replaced by Darek Oles on this release. Additionally, leader Peter Erskine decided to expand the trio into a quartet, by adding Bob Mintzer on tenor sax.

The result: Standards 2: Movie Music.

As Dick Clark once said, "Music is the soundtrack of your life." Each of this album's 10 compositions comes from the soundtracks to films or TV shows that we've watched over the years. In some cases, this would have been a primary theme, repeated in numerous scenes; alternatively, the composition could have been part of the underscore, to emphasize a particular event in the storyline. Either way, the music always heightened the viewing experience.

This album includes music from Gone with the Wind, West Side Story, Dr. Kildare, The Gay Divorcee, Cinema Paradiso, Broadway Melody of 1940 and Anchors Away. You may not remember how the music was incorporated in each case — some of these go back a way! — but you’ll recognize the melodies themselves.

Erskine's combo is excellent. The individuals have played with numerous bands, contributed to literally hundreds of albums, and have recorded together on many occasions. They swing wonderfully here.

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