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Music for Films

Phillip Johnston

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Album Review

A series of short pieces set a variety of moods, from mournful introspection to waltzy vibraphone pop to upbeat, funk sassiness to the kind of trance craziness that only psychotic banjos can bring. On Music for Films, Philip Johnston shows off his amazing breadth and depth, with compositions for four films: Geld directed by Doris Dörrie; Money Man and Music of Chance both directed by Philip Haas; and Umbrellas directed by Henry Corra, Grahame, Weinbren, and Albert Maysles. The tracks are not entirely in order by film (for example, the songs from Geld are tracks 13-18 and 27-31), which makes it difficult at times to get an overall feel for the music of a particular film. The music within each film, however, is so varied that it makes little difference. This album has the kind of non-obtrusive beauty that makes film music great. It is easy to imagine it coloring a scene and helping to make it unforgettable, and difficult to imagine it distracting or overpowering one. This is a fine addition to Johnston's work.

Biography

Born: 22 January 1955 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The twisted avant-jazz of Phillip Johnston first reared its head during the early '80s, when the composer and saxophonist was a staple of the downtown New York City underground music scene. There, he performed with a variety of artists both in and out of the jazz community, among them John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Elliott Sharp, Wayne Horvitz, Butch Morris, and the dB's. He is a founding member of the...
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Music for Films, Phillip Johnston
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