Buddy Morrow: Staccato's Theme


Staccato's Theme


Buddy Morrow (trombone)


Crime Jazz: Music in the First Degree (Rhino R2 72912/DRC1 1669)

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Buddy Morrow (trombone),

other musicians unidentified


Composed by Elmer Bernstein


Recorded: Hollywood, 1960


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Staccato (1959-60), starring John Cassavetes, eliminated the middleman between jazz and TV gumshoes. Based in a Greenwich Village nitery, pianist Johnny Staccato, like so many real-life musicians, doubled as a streetwise private eye. Elmer Bernstein's theme, recalling his earlier crime jazz classic The Man with the Golden Arm, is déjà vu all over again. Same bunco-squad tempo, jailbird shuffle beat, stiletto-in-the- eardrum trumpets and oversexed saxes. Given Hollywood's passion for formulas, which exceeded Mme. Curie's, crime jazz became so self-referential that everything started blurring together. What are you watching, dear? Mickey Spillane's Wild One With the Staccato Golden Gunn. That's nice.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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