2017, Music

Screen Sounds (2017) by The Joe Policastro Trio

The third album by the Joe Policastro trio focuses on movie and TV themes (with one exception) and is, in some ways, even more fun than their second record. Certainly, it’s even more diverse.

This time the material is just as varied, if not even more so.

  • There’s Sato from Yojimbo,
  • there’s a medley of the Nilsson hit from Midnight Cowboy with some of John Barry’s score,
  • there’s, wait for it, soap opera music (if the most famous soap opera music ever), there’s Schifrin (Cool Hand Luke),
  • there’s an Elvis movie song,
  • there’s the Twin Peaks theme,
  • the theme to Taxi,
  • and the least interesting choice, the theme from The Godfather. (Not to say their version isn’t very good but that it’s the least off-beat thing here).

I’m particularly delighted by the presence of the The Kids in the Hall theme and their selection from the Blade Runner soundtrack, which I saw live first, in a much longer version, but which is still out there for a jazz guitar trio. The only thing that doesn’t fit is Hallelujah. You could argue that has been in so many movies and shows, I guess. But knowing they had other TV and film music they recorded, I sort of wonder why they put it here. Anyway…

The performances are high-energy and engaging. The solos are decent, but aren’t necessarily the highlight of most tracks. (They stretch out much more live, and especially Miller shows off much more in that setting.) Their instrumental palette is slightly more diverse, with a bow on the bass here, and some chimes there. (And a tiny bit in the way of guitar effects.)

I think you can gripe with the Leonard Cohen cover, if only for thematic consistency. But I don’t mind it. It’s less obvious than it could be. And I like the rest of it so much I can’t help but ignore that minor nitpick.

Really enjoy this.


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