Shorty Rogers: The Wild One
The Wild One
Jazz Themes from The Wild One (Bear BCD 16393 AR)
Composed by Leith Stevens. Arranged by Shorty Rogers.
Recorded: Hollywood, July 14, 1953
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Hollywood's first great biker flick told the semi-factual story of a small California town terrorized by rival motorcycle gangs. Marlon Brando, in black leather jacket with skull & crossed pistons on back, was Johnny, laconic leader of one such pack. To enhance verisimilitude, veteran composer Leith Stevens retained Shorty Rogers, the goateed doyen of West Coast jazz, for an exciting drum-driven title track as unstoppable as rolling thunder—an effect heightened by opening and closing sound effects of actual MC revving. VROOM-VROOM!!! Outraged, one jazz critic demanded, "Hey, Shorty, what are you rebelling against?" To which Rogers mumbled, "Whadda you got?"
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz