I really wasn't planning to contribute to The John Williams Blog-a-thon. It's an interesting idea, but what do I have to say?
Then I thought.
John Williams is kind of responsible for the lack of jazz scores in modern movies. I'm certain he didn't mean to be. He's a jazz pianist and longtime conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.
But his scores for the Star Wars, Superman and Indiana Jones movies became so iconic that it solidified the idea of classical based music choices as the basis for movie music.
But then his score for The Long Goodbye is itself jazz.
And it's wonderful, as good as any jazz score out there.
I wish there were more scores like this nowadays. It fits the movie perfectly. It sounds both modern, to the time it was made, and timeless.
Most interesting is the theme song, co-written with Johnny Mercer.
The song is truly a "theme" of the movie. It continually recurs, with different variations, through the movie. The song, its lyrics, its various moods, comments on the movie.
John Williams is a very talented jazz composer. I'd like to see modern moviemakers go back and take advantage of this.