Personnel: Phillip Lambro (piano); Al Viola (guitar, electric guitar); Chuck Comanico (guitar, bass guitar); Buddy Collette (violin, tenor saxophone); Jerome Reisler, Karen Jones , Manuel Newman, Lori Ulanova, Henry Ferber, Harld Dacterow, Bernard Kundell, Isabelle Daskoff, Israel Baker, Arnold Belnick, Ralph Schaeffer, Harry Bluestone (violin); Myra Kestenbaum, Joe Reilich, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski (viola); Chris Ermacoff, Nino Rosso, Justin DiTullio, Raphael Kramer (cello); Gene Cipriano (flute, oboe, baritone saxophone); Bud Shank (woodwinds); Thomas Stevens , Mario Guarneri (trumpet); James A. Decker, Henry Sigismonti (French horn); Michael Lang (piano); Jeff Porcaro (drums); Mitchell Peters (timbales); Richard Lepore, Emil Richards (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Brian Cometa.
Liner Note Author: Randall Larson.
Unknown Contributor Role: United States International Orchestra and Jazz ensemble.
Arranger: Phillip Lambro.
Horror maestro Phillip Lambro tackles the crime genre with Murph the Surf, and the result is a crackling jazz-inspired score buoyed by contributions from the likes of West Coast saxophone greats Bud Shank and Buddy Collette. Though issued via Motown and released in 1975, the soundtrack boasts few of the blaxploitation elements one might anticipate: Lambro's melodies are undeniably funky, but the stoned-soul miasma that permeates so many competing crime scores is absent, with a dark, noir-tinged atmosphere taking its place. This is music that truly demands the adjective "cinematic." Lambro operates in broad, deeply visual strokes, creating a score that's profoundly gritty yet strangely beautiful. ~ Jason Ankeny