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Saturday, April 01, 2006

CD REVIEW - Not With My Wife, You Don't!/Any Wednesday plus news from Costa Communications

Not With My Wife, You Don't!/Any Wednesday
Music by Johnny Williams and George Duning
Film Score Monthly Vol. 9 No.3
23 Tracks 56:22 mins

A first-time CD release for this pairing of two jazz scores for sex comedies dating from 1966. Both were previously available on LP and are re-recordings, as was the fashion at the time, of music written for these films, which may not please the purists among you, but nevertheless make for a tuneful listening experience. In fact, sometimes I long for a return to those days when you at least had complete themes to latch on to, whereas so many CDs today leave you wanting when themes you would enjoy in more complete form are so often underdeveloped, due to the requirements of the film.
John Williams (or Johnny as he was known then) provided the score for the Tony Curtis/Virna Lisi/George C.Scott comedy Not With My Wife, You Don't! and collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer on the songs "Big Beautiful Ball," a breezy number, first heard in a big band arrangement over the "Main Title," then as a swinging vocal by Mercer himself, who proves he could sing almost as well as he could write; and the romantic "My Inamorata," given voice by a small choral group; as well as the film's title song," which is a typical example of cheesy '60s pop, voiced by a male choral grouping. Other themes of note include "Hey Julietta," an up tempo jazz waltz for wordless choir, the laid-back "Two of Everything," and "Arriverderci Mondo," with its electric guitar lead. A couple of unusual cues, "Foney Poochini," with its combo of horns playing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat mixed with Rossini-styled operatica, and "Hungarian Jungle Music," an easy jazz mover with jungle percussion and a wild guitar bridge, which oddly apparently has no equivalent in the film, round out the fun.
Strangely, George Duning's optimistic, jazzy, main theme for Any Wednesday, with lyrics by Marilyn and Alan Bergman, is sung by choral group in the film, but on the album is only presented in instrumental form. It is reprised often in a score that is bright, jazzy and tuneful throughout, with breezy movers like "Playboy John," hip swingers like "Righteous Cass" and "Wife Meets Mistress;" and out and out chase music like "Frantic Cass," together with some easy-listening laid-back numbers like "Pigeon John" and "Double Clinches."
The accompanying booklet concentrates largely on the cue-by-cue guide, as the careers of both composers have been well documented. Modern-day film music enthusiasts will probably note approve of this kind of album, but for those of us raised in the '60s, the music presented here will transport us back to, if not a more innocent, certainly a more tuneful time.

From Costa Communications

"COLD CASE" Apr. 9
Creates Period Song for Series' Oldest Unsolved Crime

(Los Angeles, CA) Composer Michael A. Levine known for scoring two hit CBS -series, Cold Case and Close to Home, has written the song "300 Flowers" for "Beautiful Little Fool," a Cold Case episode premiering April 9, 9 p.m.
PST/EST. Liz Garcia wrote the episode and provides the lyrics for the song in the style of Gershwin and Cole Porter, which contains a clue to the identity of an aspiring songwriter killed in 1929. This is the oldest unsolved crime the series has ever featured. The episode also marks the first time the show has used an original song over its closing montage, Michael's contemporary arrangement of "300 Flowers."

Winner of two Clio Awards for his work in advertising, Michael's groundbreaking combination of high-tech sound design with music became his calling card. His music for the first of his two Clio Awards, the Mitsubishi Eclipse campaign, combined Japanese flute, an operatic soprano, world percussion, and electronically processed animal noises. Michael's once-radical approach employed on the Mitsubishi spots became so widely imitated by others in car commercials that the formula eventually became an advertising cliché. Still, his best-known ads are his jingles "Wacky Wild Kool-Aid Style," "Motts and Motts of Motts," and, most infamously, "Gimme a Break" for Kit Kat, which is widely considered to be one of the most effective "earworms," a term used to describe a bit of music that you can't get out of your head, whether you want to or not. Grammy winning American Idol champ Carrie Underwood sang it on this year's campaign.

Born in Tokyo, Michael was raised in the Midwest and schooled in Canada
(McGill Univ.), Wisconsin (UW), and Boston (Berklee College of Music). He moved to New York City where his first job was playing violin on the streets. In the early 80s he founded the legendary No Guitars, one of the first bands to have a video on the just-launched MTV. He also managed to squeeze in gigs as a fiddle player on the NYC country, folk, and Irish scenes, working with then-unknown Shawn Colvin. Michael returns to his roots on an April 2 episode of Cold Case where he briefly appears playing "Wilkommen" from Cabaret on the violin and also as a violin-playing pirate in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Michael is working with William Phillip McKinley on mounting a production of
"Orpheus Electronica," a multi-media techno-opera which sets the myth of Orpheus in an underground dance party. McKinley directed the Broadway hit musical The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman, and also directs The Ringling Bros. Circus.


Blogger Mona said...

Do you know if anyone will record the song, "300 Flowers" for release on CD? I watched the Cold Case episode and love, love, love the song!!

8:15 PM  
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