June 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Compilation: The film music of Claude BOLLING
Borsalino; Borsalino & Co.; Doucement les basses!; Flic Story  
 
  TRAVELLING NAÏVE K1602  

Claude Bolling

Mention Claude Bolling and the cheeky, catchy music for the Borsalino, redolent of smoke filled saloons and honky-tonk pianos comes to mind. Here we have the music for the original gangster film and its sequel Borsalino & Co. The album includes the big band jazz sound reminiscent of 1940s Louis Armstrong for ‘Art Déco’ from the original film and from the sequel some Alain Delon dialogue Jacqueline Dano’s siren song, ‘Lola’, and some snatches of intrigue, violence orientated and pursuit music with a wryly ironically comic edge laced with laconic dialogue and sound effects.

The comedy Doucement les basses starred Delon again and concerned a priest faced with the problem of marriage. It begins with sound effects of strong winds and moves on to a capella church choral music again suggestive of gales but this soon gives way to an upbeat multi-part jazz chorus with rhythm accompaniment. Windy moanings and wailings are heard from the church congregation in the dialogue excerpts. Bach-like religious instrumental music with solo soprano is also heard and incredibly dialogue over what sounds very much ‘A whiter shade of Pale’ played on the organ à la Bach. The end titles present more hot hip Bach.

In Flic Story Alain Delon is a detective mercilessly hunting down public enemy number one through the streets of Paris. Consequently there is much emphasis given to the popular strains of the accordion. Bolling’s music mixes popular nostalgic music idioms with take-offs of standard thriller/detective motifs even alluding to 007!

Those with good French will enjoy this album to the full but there is enough witty and clever pastiche jazz to enjoy.

Ian Lace

***(*)

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