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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Gerry Mulligan et al - I Want to Live

Gerry Mulligan - The Jazz Combo (with Shelly Manne, Art Farmer et al) - I Want to Live!

London / United Artists LTZ-T 15161 (monaural) (UK release of United Artists UAL-4006(M)(USA)), 1958 

The film "I Want To Live", based on a true story, a tour de force for actress Susan Hayward, playing Barbara Graham, a wayward woman falsely accused of murder who is the last woman summarily executed in the state of California, was one of the first films with effective use of jazz in the soundtrack.  Part of the reason for this is the scoring by Johnny Mandel, also composer of such evergreen standards as "The Shadow Of Your Smile" again taken from a film soundtrack ("The Sandpiper").  Another reason was that there is a combo appearing in the film, a septet led by Gerry Mulligan, reflecting Barbara Graham's abiding interest in the music of Mulligan.  So, there are two soundtrack albums, this one and another, also on United Artists, which finds Mandel leading an orchestra featuring top West Coast jazz musicians.  In this album,Mulligan is joined by Art Farmer, trumpet; Bud Shank, alto saxophone, flute; Frank Rosolino, trombone; Pete Jolly, piano; Red Mitchell, bass; and Shelly  Manne, drums.  The programme they play is all composed by Johnny Mandel,and the titles include: 'Black Nightgown', 'Thme from I Want To Live', 'Night Watch', 'Frisco Club', 'Barbara's Theme', and 'Life's A Funny Thing'.  Two years later, Mulligan recorded 'Theme From I Want To Live' and 'Barbara's Theme' with his Concert Jazz Band, in versions very like the ones here.  

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