1. They Call Me Mister Tibbs
3. The Anderson Tapes
4. Spies and Dolls
5. The Looking Glass War
6. The French Connection
7. When Eight Bells Toll
8. The Spy’s Wife
9. Money Is
10. Our Man Flint
11. The Spy with a Cold Nose
13. Hawaii 5-0
14. The Name of the Game
15. It Takes a Thief
16. A Man Called Ironside
17. Mission Impossible
18. Softly Softly
19. The Troubleshooters
20. I Spy
22. The Untouchables
Chaquito was one of the pseudonyms of arranger/composer John Gregory.
Under this name, he became famous for a series of albums with Latin-American
rhythms. I still have in my collection a couple of LPs by "Chaquito
and the Quedo Brass" ("quedo" is apparently Spanish
for soft or gentle). Gregory's arrangements were often jazzy and the
two LPs assembled on this CD illustrate the fact. You might categorise
this music as "easy listening" except that it includes plenty
of solos by such jazzmen as Albert Hall, Ray Davies and Judd Proctor.
These recordings were made in 1972 and consist primarily of themes
from film and television. Because they come from thrillers or spy
stories, the tunes are frequently dramatic, sometimes ominous, and
they give full reign to John Gregory's expertise as an arranger. He
has the skill to vary the arrangements so that they suit particular
tunes and don't sound as samey as many interpretations of "popular"
themes. For example, the blaring brass in Quincy Jones's film theme
They Call Me Mister Tibbs is balanced by what sounds like a
bassoon stating the melody. The theme from Bullitt is lifted
by the jazzy atmosphere the arrangement generates, the use of Latin-American
percussion and some exciting alto sax soloing. And Lalo Schifrin's
Mannix has good solos from trumpeter Albert Hall and tenorist
Many tracks use the dominant jazz-rock rhythm of the period, which
suits the assertive nature of most of the tunes. Sadly, the personnels
are not given - although the soloists are credited for the second
of the two LPs - but Gregory used top-class session musicians and
their pedigree is evident. Wally Stott's Looking-Glass War
has radiant playing from trumpet and saxophone, while Shaft
uses echoing flute and juddering guitar to catch the mood of the film.
Hawaii 5-0 has the requisite thudding drums, courtesy of Ronnie
Because the soloists are listed for tracks 13 to 24, it is possible
to praise Al Newman's unusual bass flute solo in A Man Called Ironside
and his fiery alto solo in I Spy - although Harry Stoneham's
organ sound is rather dated here and elsewhere.
I am not pretending that this is an out-and-out jazz album, as it
was manifestly made to appeal to a wide audience of filmgoers and
TV watchers. But it proves that John Gregory could fashion arrangements
which were more interesting and diverse than many other big-band arrangers.
And the sound quality - remastered from the original analogue tapes
- is splendid.