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New Boxed Set Celebrates Jazz in French New Wave Films

Jazzed Magazine • News • November 7, 2013

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The debut release on Jazz on Film Records, French New Wave, kicks off with the first ever film score written by a serious jazz composer: the pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) on an original recording known under its American cinema release title No Sun in Venice(Sait-on Jamais, 1957). It’s a definitive recording in the MJQ’s rich discography as well as an early model of a ‘Third Stream’ work, a term coined by Gunther Schuller to describe a new musical hybrid that bridged the gap between jazz improv and classical forms.

Jazz writer Selwyn Harris produced, compiled, and annotated the set, which was digitally remastered by the same engineer that produced the previous two highly acclaimed themed 5-CD box sets: Jazz on Film…Film Noir and Beat, Square & Cool.

No Sun in Venice is joined by Miles Davis’ largely improvised score to director Louis Malle’s influential cult thriller Lift to the Scaffold(Ascenseur Pour L’├ęchafaud) (1958). Other notable pieces include Art Blakey’s score to Roger Vadim’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1960), Martial Solal’s score to Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (A Bout de Souffle, 1960), and Michel Legrand’s work for Joseph Losey’s arthouse classic Eva (1962).

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