Crime Jazz: noir-ish music from television and film crime dramas


I fucking love Crime Jazz (and/or Library Funk). I can heartily recommend Rene Costa’s ‘Danger, suspense and Eprouvettes’, if you haven’t heard it. One of my favourites.

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Give a listen to The Retro Cocktail Hour out of Lawerence Kansas. They play lots of stuff along these lines. It’s great.

They have an archive of old shows and new ones are streamed from the public radio station.

I had a tape of vol 1 in the whip when I used to deliver pizzas. You’re right, @xeni, it makes for great driving music. Now both vols are in my itunes.

You can always tell when Roland Kirk was in the band since he always used the mouth-siren thingy.

I’ve also got copies of both Peter Gunn soundtrack LPs. Mancini is definitely the man.

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Even better than Rhino’s series, is Moochin’ About’s “Jazz on Film” box sets. Astounding soundtracks by top tier jazz artists like Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Modern Jazz Quartet… as well as band leaders like Duke Ellington and Henry Mancini. A lot of these box sets haven’t been released since they came out on LP half a century ago. They have new boxes with French New Wave soundtracks and Chet Baker too. Sound quality is stellar.

yes! I’ve been loving these two comps for a few years now - my friend overheard me jamming it one day and referred to it as (something to the effect of) “newspaper spinning segue music from old mobster movies” - meaning the music that would play as you watched a gangs’ bullet-laden rampage on the city, and the newspaper headlines flash to signify the increase in violence. Wow, I just way over-explained that. Crime Jazz!!!

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I have the Ultra-Lounge “Crime Scene,” but I think I would like “Crime Jazz” even better. There is a tremendous amount of great music from that era that we don’t remember a lot, or is only remembered by weird jazz-heads like me. Most of these tracks were written and recorded by a fairly limited list of artists, so you can get a similar type of music with almost any big band recording from this time. I would recommend browsing through the catalog of Fresh Sound Records

Haven’t looked, but I wonder how many of the musicians appeared on both the film soundtracks and their jazz remakes (like Manne’s Son of Gunn)? A lot of the West Coast jazz musicians did session work in Hollywood by day.

A lot of this music is just bebop jazz. My favorite artists from this genre include musicians such as Fats Navarro and Guy Barker. I have a Spotify playlist if anyone is interested lol.

The Tubes “Crime Medley” (Peter Gun, The Untouchables, Perry Mason) from the double album “What Do You Want From Live?”

Not to mention 1959’s Anatomy of a Murder, Jimmy jammin’ with the Duke.

I came to post this exact same thing. I cannot stress enough how great this radio show and it’s host (@kprbrogdon on twitter). Just a lot of fun every week.

I love both of these albums. And for aficionados, check out the Soma.FM Secret Agent station. :smile:

forgot to mention–Jimmy Smith has some good noir material. I know he frequently colab’d with Lalo Schifren on some soundtracks. This is with another guy, came across it on my itunes and it made me think of this thread

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