MUSIC FOR THE MOVIES OF CLINT EASTWOOD was inspired by CLINT EASTWOOD: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, an American Masters documentary originally aired on PBS.
Includes liner notes by Dave Kehr.
Personnel: Joshua Redman (saxophone); Michael Lang (piano).
Music for the Movies of Clint Eastwood contains 11 musical excerpts from films featuring Clint Eastwood, plus "Rawhide," Frankie Laine's performance of the theme song from the television series in which Eastwood first made his mark, and Erroll Garner's performance of his jazz tune "Misty," which had a prominent place in the Eastwood film Play Misty for Me. All of these, however, are basically a curtain raiser for the album's main section, a ten-part, 40-minute suite written by Lennie Niehaus for the PBS documentary Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows. Niehaus, a longtime associate of Eastwood's, is also the composer of "Theme From Pale Rider" on the first part of the disc. As might be expected from a compilation of film music in which the only constant is the star actor, the album is quite diverse. Reflecting Eastwood's early casting as a Western hero, "Rawhide" and Ennio Morricone's famous The Good, the Bad and the Ugly music have a Western flavor. (This recording is not the hit version by "Hugo Montenegro"; it derives from the United Artists Records original soundtrack album.) "Theme From the Outlaw Josey Wales," by Jerry Fielding, has a lively fanfare, while "Theme From Pale Rider" is ominous and wistful. Starting with "Claudia's Theme From Unforgiven," one is introduced to the first of seven cues actually written by Eastwood, who reveals not only his well-known taste for jazz, but also a way with pretty melodies. Lalo Schifrin's jazz fusion music for Dirty Harry is prefaced by Eastwood's trademark "Do I feel lucky'" speech from the film. Niehaus' score is really ten separate pieces ranging from calm orchestral music ("Out of the Shadows") at the start to big band swing ("I Love Jazz") at the end. It would not be out of place in future Eastwood pictures. ~ William Ruhlmann