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George Gruntz - 'Jazz Sound-Track (From The Film Mental Cruelty)' [(Black) Vinyl [2LP]]
George Gruntz - 'Jazz Sound-Track (From The Film Mental Cruelty)' [(Black) Vinyl [2LP]]
George Gruntz - 'Jazz Sound-Track (From The Film Mental Cruelty)' [(Black) Vinyl [2LP]]
George Gruntz - 'Jazz Sound-Track (From The Film Mental Cruelty)' [(Black) Vinyl [2LP]]

George Gruntz

Jazz Sound-Track (From The Film Mental Cruelty)

Black Vinyl Re-Issue Import

Vinyl LP Record [2LP]

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Product Details
First soundtrack work by George Gruntz for the Swiss film "Mental Cruelty", originally released as a shortened 10" vinyl album on the German Decca label in 1960 and immediately withdrawn. Full version of an outstanding modern jazz rarity, up there with other famous nouvelle vague soundtracks from the same period, like Miles Davis'"L'Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud" or Art Blakey's "Des Femmes Disparaissent".

Seventeen tunes played by an excellent sextet featuring Barney Wilen on saxes, George Gruntz on piano, Kenny "Klook" Clarke on drums, Marcel Peeters on sax and flute, Raymond Court on trumpet and Karl T. Geier on bass - incl. the original version of the world renowned "Spanish Castles" as later recorded dozens of times by many artists e. g. Les McCann and the Jazz Crusaders.

The Film
"Mental Cruelty" tells of the marital conflict of a young Swiss couple. Waiting in the corridor of the court for divorce proceedings to begin, Nick and Marlene - in a series of flashbacks - relive the moments that led to their marriage but finally also brought about its failure. There are nostalgic reminiscenses of days of happiness, but also a merciless recapitulation of character clashes, unfortunate circumstances and negative influences. These, in the end, succeeded in wrecking what, under more favourable conditions, might well have developed into a perfectly normal and happy marriage. This is the first German-language feature film of its kind to make use of a jazz-score to enhance the modern realism of its message.

The Music
"Main Theme is an opening statement summing up the overall atmosphere of the film with its sound of modern everyday life, tempered with a touch of romanticism but also with unmistakable tragic undertones. "Blues And Theme" at first captures the bluesy feeling of a conversation in a parked car at night, with Barney Wilen playing an unusually full soprano-saxophone. The mood changes as the piano introduces the gently swinging love theme, symbolically stated as a duet between Wilen and Peeters. Raymond Court forcefully improvises on a riff-like background provided by Wilen and Peeters - illustrating a scene in which Ted blows along with the music of a portable phonograph in the "Students' Hang-out". A Soprano - flute duet between Wilen and Peeters paints a slightly melancholy mood created by the dawn of reality after the romantic glow of the young couple's wedding night ("Morning After The Wedding Night"). Music For Night Children" offers the freest set of swinging improvisations. After an ensemble opener, the order of soloists is the following: Peeters (alto), Gruntz (piano), Wilen (tenor), Court (trumpet), and Clarke (drums). "Klook" and Gruntz then trade fours and the ensemble wraps it up with a re-statement of the theme. Barney Wilen on tenor dominates "Jazz Appreciation I", the first of two pieces meant to describe record sessions, popular features in the night life of modern young people. Marcel Peeters on flute is the soloist in "Jazz Appreciation II". "Good Time Joe" livens up the scene with three blowing chorusses on trumpet by Raymond Court, the first only with bass and drums, the second and third with piano added. The small hours of the morning bring a slightly jaded strip by one of the girls at a party to an exotic beat and the strains of Wilen's soprano ("Swiss Tease"). The romantic climax of the score comes in the piece entitled "Romance" which moves from lovers' quarrel to reconciliation and final bliss, with a tenor - alto duet, followed by a piano solo, a soprano - alto duet and finally a lyrical solo by Barney Wilen on soprano. In "Spanish Castles" George Gruntz weaves his own musical impressions of Spanish folk themes (he must have heard the Sardanas of the Costa Brava!) into a carefree holiday pattern. The soloists are Gruntz and Wilen. Marcel Peeter's nostalgic echoing flute in "Nick And Marlene" is picked up gently by Barney Wilen's soprano for what turns out to be the most delicately melancholy duet of the score. Mounting excitement runs through the youthful banter which culminates in "The Proposal". It opens and closes with a duet by Wilen and Peeters, features solos by Gruntz and Wilen and ends rapturously in ¾ time. With a brief statement of the "Final Theme" the jazz score of "Mental Cruelty" comes to an end.
Track Listing