Jazz on Film: Film Noir is a five-disc box set collecting together some of the seminal jazz soundtracks from noir cinema from the 1950s, exploring the evolution of the musical style from its presence as a scene in a movie to its integration into the scores themselves.
Towering above all others in the realm of Bond cash-in albums, however, was British composer Roland Shaw, who released a series of James Bond cash-in records that featured arrangements of Bond themes and background music that were often just as good as the originals, and in some cases, perhaps even better.
There are few moments more perfect than walking into a bar late at night and hearing a Billie Holiday song. They’re practically made for ordering an Old Fashioned as you prop your elbows up on the bar and think about lost loves and life’s regrets.
It was common for Italian exploitation films to be graced with a soundtrack that was much better than the film surrounding it. Such is the case with Bruno Nicolai’s score for The Case of the Bloody Iris.
Morricone’s score is like a children’s church choir gone horribly, disturbingly awry. As accompaniment to a film that stalks the foggy labyrinths of Venice, you couldn’t ask for a more perfectly haunting and off-kilter collection of songs.
Despite Morricone’s much deserved reputation, it’s probably Bruno Nicolai who deserves to be crowned king of the giallo soundtrack. He wrote quite a few. Most of them are very good. Many of them are great. All the Colors of the Dark is the best.
The score maintains this blend of offbeat styles that still manage to operate as a cohesive whole, becoming tenser and more threatening. It makes perfect sense in a film about the unreliable nature of perception.