The Bob Sneider and Joe Locke Film Noir Project: Fallen Angel (2006)
Some great film composers are represented, including the underrated Dave Grusin (two tracks), and arguably the greatest of them all, Jerry Goldsmith. His "Chinatown" theme is quintessential film noir, given perfect expression here by John Sneider's luminous trumpet, and his "Katya" has never been more haunting than in Joe Locke's solo take.
What elevates this CD from a well-executed novelty to a memorable collection is the band. Bob Sneider shines whenever he steps forward, and his duo with Hofmann on "Last Kiss" underscores the talents of both. Tenorist Grant Stewart conjures the ghost of Robert Mitchum with his swooping lead on "Farewell, My Lovely." Drummer Mike Melito and bassist Phil Flanigan both have big ears, fine technique, and impeccable tastetheir contributions are crucial to making this recording work as well as it does.
And boy, does it work. I listened to it eight times through today, one spin right after another, and never got bored. I also realized that this recording, while a fitting tribute to film noir, finally departs from it: although there's always danger lurking in those movies, this music has a soothing and sensuous effect. It's wonderful stuff.
Track Listing: Fallen Angel, Chinatown theme, Les Modernes, Katya, Promenade Senitmentale, Theme from "Mulholland Falls," Body Heat, A Fairwell to Maria, Last Kiss, Farewell, My Lovely, Hurricane Country
Personnel: Bob Sneider: guitar; Joe Locke: vibraphone; Paul Hofmann: piano; John Sneider: trumpet; Grant Stewart: tenor saxophone; Paul Flanigan: bass; Mike Melito: drums.
Record Label: Sons of Sound