Elmer Bernstein: Frankie Machine
The Man With the Golden Arm [Soundtrack] (Fresh Sounds Spain)
Composed and conducted by Elmer Bernstein.
Recorded: Hollywood, 1955
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) was the squalid story of a junkie card dealer and wannabe drummer played by Frank Sinatra. Even non-moviegoers made the connection between narcotics and jazz, thanks to this hit single in which Elmer Bernstein's trumpets evoke an urban seediness as unforgiving as a junkie's need. Plus, how's this for spooky synchronicity? Golden Arm was released the same year as Charlie Parker's death, leading to the irony (if that's the right word) of clean-armed Sinatra being nominated for an Oscar, and tracks-aplenty Bird winding up on a slab at the morgue. Man, sometimes crime jazz is just plain criminal.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz