Jerry Goodman: Theme from Perry Mason


Theme from Perry Mason


Jerry Goodman (violin)


It's Alive (Private Music 2026-2-P)

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Jerry Goodman (violin),

Fred Simon, Jeffery Vanston (keyboards), Kraig McGreary (guitar), Bob Lizik (bass), Jim Hines (drums)


Composed by Fred Steiner


Recorded: Chicago, IL, September 16, 1987


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

In the mid-'80s, violinist Jerry Goodman signed a contract with New Age label Private Music. This was surprising to many of his fusion fans. After all, New Age music was the antithesis of fusion. As far as the jazz and fusion crowd was concerned, New Age was music to take a nap by. But, in character, Jerry slowly rebelled against the wishes of the label. Each succeeding album he put out for Private was more fusion and less New Age. It reached a point on It's Alive that it became the end of the line between Goodman and the label. What his Private Music albums did do for Goodman was to give him the chance to showcase his composing skills, which are highly evident throughout this performance.

Of course, Jerry Goodman did not compose the "Theme from Perry Mason." Fred Steiner did that way back in 1957 for the TV crime drama starring Raymond Burr. Goodman's update is a rollicking blues interpretation with violin and synthesizers taking over for the brass section. A heavy backbeat supports the main theme, which begins as a sinister accusation before the whole case is laid out. Goodman then takes a solo turn that Fred Steiner could never have imagined back in 1957! It is a twisted, distorted, screeching joyous mess. It forces Della Street to leave the room. The music culminates in a rousing surprise confession from the witness box. (Well, maybe it wasn't such a surprise.)

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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