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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blues In The Night - Morton Gould

Sophisticated Lady
Blues In The Night
Morton Gould
Arrangements by Morton Gould
RCA Victor Red Seal

Likely one of Gould's better mood music "theme" sets which plays through somewhat like a soundtrack. Gould's arranging, generally conservative for his time (especially for the release date of 1960), slips between the soft and dramatic to his more typical big band approach, more often then not, during the same song. The mix may not suit all, but the total sonic trip is a solid one to my ears.

From the back cover: The fantasies, which, Mr. Gould remarks, develop from the periphery of the blues, are improvisatory in feeling but written down on score paper as precisely as if they were a four-movement symphony in G-flat minor, in which key none of these is – or many symphonies, for that matter.

Even the electronic devices and techniques are part of the scores which Mr. Gould has prepared. This then, is an amalgamation of individual inspiration and electric wizardry, but the free-jazz factor underlies Mr. Gould's writing. It does so because many of these men, who are experienced and resourceful in playing the symphonic repertory, are accomplished jazz artists also. They can bring to the performance of music on paper not only the surety of expert symphonic readers and stylists, but the necessary waywardness of the popular improviser. They can "play strict and keep loose," as the early-nineteenth-century conductors used to say to their bands, if this has been reduced to English correctly.

Blues In The Night
Birth Of The Blues
Old Devil Moon
Limehouse Blues
Mood Indigo
St. Louis Blues
Sophisticated Lady
Big City Blue
Deep Purple

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