Soundtrack recordings are a problematic affair. Screen music, unless foregrounded in a bio-pic like Clint Eastwood’s Bird (1988) or in a nightclub sequence like Henry Mancini’s source music for TV’s Peter Gunn (1958), is generally intended to be “subliminal,” to be invisible like a film’s editing so as not to distract from the drama. As a result, most screen music, while designed to italicize the narrative, is also written (and mixed) to be unobtrusive. Still, many scores, including those reviewed below, have, at least for music fans, transcended their original uses to go on to stand-alone lives of their own.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.