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Soundtrack Review: The Ten Commandments

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By Greg Ehrbar As a movie, The Ten Commandments is as big as DeMille could have commanded it to be in 1957. What isn’t as well known is how big a break it was for Oscar-winning composer Elmer Bernstein.…

VINTAGE SONGS: TIME MACHINES OR MOOD ENHANCERS

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I doubt that many J.K. Rowling fans watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would recognize the voice of Ruth Etting…yet it’s that once-popular vocalist singing “You’re the Cream in my Coffee” who helps set the scene for…

ADIEU TO A JAZZ GIANT

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I was heartbroken to learn about the death of harmonica virtuoso and all-around jazz great Jean “Toots” Thielemans several weeks ago at the age of 94. I knew he had been ill in recent years but somehow that doesn’t…

Soundtrack Review: The Red Balloon (1956) / Le Voyage en Ballon (1960)

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There must be actors who only wish they could move audiences to tears the way the balloon did in this classic, Oscar-winning short by Albert Lamorisse. It was a staple of classrooms (where I first saw…

A Jazz Approach to ‘Vertigo’

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I love listening to jazz—or what I now have to identify as “mainstream” or “straight-ahead” jazz, to be clear—so I always look forward to a new release from clarinet master Ken Peplowski. His new CD, Enrapture, on Capri Records…

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