Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cool Crime Jazz

This may well be my very first music post. I don't generally write or talk about the music I like because I don't really feel qualified to discuss it. I have no musical talent, no musical education, and no musical knowledge to speak of. I don't know what's popular, and I don't really care. I like what I like, and that's about it.

I mostly listen to film scores on CD or blues and rock on the radio. I like 60's era lounge music, too. 70's rock. 80's pop. 90's neo-swing. Disco, when I'm in a rare, upbeat mood.

If I'm writing, I prefer instrumentals, either jazz or a film score that suits the mood of whatever I'm working on. If I'm doing graphic design work or surfing the Interweb, I generally have the radio tuned to the local blues or classic rock stations.

For the last couple of days, I've been mostly listening to a CD compilation of two different 50's TV crime show soundtracks – music from the series M Squad, which starred a young Lee Marvin, and Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, the syndicated show with Darren McGavin. Both albums on this CD are comprised of some amazingly cool jazz, and it's the perfect music to listen to while working on Femme Noir. Especially since I know the Peter Gunn soundtrack by heart, I've listened to it so much.

In fact, I only mention it because I think it's a remarkably good disc, and wanted to recommend it to anyone out there who likes jazz. I bought mine at Amazon, but you can find it elsewhere, too.


bish8 said...

This CD is one of my favorites as well. It is fairly amazing how much cool jazz came out of the TV shows of this era. Like you, my Peter Gunn CD is worn through, but I recently found a Japanese copy of Gunn #1 -- the Peter Gunn feature film -- which has some very cool variations.

Also check out for a ton of downloadable rips from many soundtracks in the crime/spy genre -- the site is a treasure trove.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've never been able to really enjoy Jazz. I can listen to it intellectually, but it just doesn't move me emotionally. Sometimes I feel bad about that, but I can't argue with what my body wants.

El Vox said...

Another couple of intersting period-type CDs you may be interested in are: Charlie Haden's Quartet West. I'd highly recommend the Haunted Heart Cd which has an early LA, noir feel to it on the Gitanes Jazz Productions label, and if you enjoy that there's also a second, Quartet West CD, "Always Say Goodbye." Either one makes for good late night easy listening, or anytime really. You can probably hear sound bytes over at Amazon.