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 Posted:   May 21, 2019 - 11:04 PM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

Now that people have started receiving their copies (mine will arrive this week I hope), do you all think it would be a good idea to post our reactions here instead of on the official announcements thread which is shared with the Bear McCreary release?

Me myself I personally would prefer to have all the comments about the new Mellé here, but Razzle Bathbone has already given THE SENTINEL a terrific thumbs up with his comments on the other thread, so that's a good start. I'll do what you tell me to do, mibbe.




Please Graham, post your review here. Keep them coming.
Let's also hope 2019 will see the complete scores for Kolchak: The Night Stalker by Gil Mellé and Jerry Fielding.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 4:33 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

I just received my Sentinel CD.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)


Gil Mellé’s The Sentinel is the answer to Jerry Goldsmith's The Omen.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

In the booklet and in the section "A mélangé of Mellé" written by James Phillips, we learn that composer Robert Prince was a good friend of Gil Mellé: nice tidbit. That may explain why the television score “Mindbend” from Mission: Impossible by Prince sounds very music concrète.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I just received my Sentinel CD.

Me too! Unfortunately will have to wait until the working day is over before I even open the package. Still, at least I've got something to go home to, tee hee (wife, children, beer in fridge, Gil Mellé CD..., Gil Mellé CD, beer...)

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Fact: The Sentinel and The Centennial miniseries were made around the same time.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)


Let's also hope 2019 will see the complete scores for Kolchak: The Night Stalker by Gil Mellé and Jerry Fielding.


I've heard of Kolchak but have never seen any. However, I would buy any release based on those two composers, alone.

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)


Let's also hope 2019 will see the complete scores for Kolchak: The Night Stalker by Gil Mellé and Jerry Fielding.


I've heard of Kolchak but have never seen any. However, I would buy any release based on those two composers, alone.

Yavar


Gil Mellé - The Ripper (1974)
https://tinyurl.com/y6adm4uk

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 2:16 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

First impressions - I apologise in advance for incontenent rabbits, but this is real life stream-of-consciousness. I'll get my ideas together over a series of subsequent posts. I hardly ever comment on a release after only having heard it once, but here I go.

Absolutely magnificent. That's it, it's f'ckin' awesome! Having lost all reasonably balanced readers with that comment, I shall proceed to rabbit on regardless. First impressions - it's amazing, it really is. Fine booklet and presentation. Good notes by our Jeff Bond and dear James Phillips. One error (this is "down the pub" spontaneity) - Jeff credits Gil Mellé as having scored the TV Movie THE ASTRONAUT. Pretty much sure that's not so. We had a thread about it. No music credit - I think it was during the musicians' strike - and the tacked-on (?) score sounds nothing like Mellé. And if there's one thing that Mellé had, it was a totally unique voice. I love James Phillips' quotes from his correspondence with Gil - Talking about his electronics in the score, Mellé says, "These were not sound effects, but intervallic, harmonic nuance transmogrification." I goddam love Gil Mellé.

The music itself is mindbending, but I'll rabbit on about that another day. However, I'll start now, may as well. I think that what I always loved about Mellé's scores is that they were rarely just functional, or a product of their time. I find much of his work impossible to pigeonhole. Jeff Bond mentions (in my words) that this score straddles jazz, symphonic and avant-garde, without really settling on one, but encapsulating all. That's what I love! It's so different, so beyond the conventional, but with a clarity of vision which never makes it sound cobbled-together.

More rabbits - I was occasionally surprised, because I thought I knew this music fairly well - at the amount of stuff I didn't know, or it was as if I was hearing it for the first time. Perhaps the balancing in the recording made a difference, but there were little double bass notes, or a semi-impro jazz piano riff which sounded different from what I knew/ remembered. Sometimes it was the timing (What? The offbeat is on THAT beat?), on other occasions it was as if the music itself was completely new. I don't think they used the opening minute of the End Credits at all in the film. Or did they? And that almost-jazz intro to the track "Archdiocese Break-in" - was that actually in the film, dialled down so low we couldn't hear it, or completely rejected?

Rabbit jumping off in a different direction now - I always suspected this, having heard a piece of footwear a few times, but COLUMBO actually IS (I think) on this CD! It's the bonus track "TV Drama". Just as Michael Sarrrazin must have been watching THE GENERAL WITH THE COCK-EYED ID in THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD, the protagonists here must have been watching "Death Lends a Hand", because I'm pretty sure that that's what "TV Drama" is, the bit when Robert Culp dumps the body.

I could go on, but I must stop for now. I'll be back though - you have been warned. Oh, by the way, this music isn't only great and brilliant and all that, it's actually interesting! Forget generic "decent, functional" crap. This will make you sit up and go, "WHAT did he just do there?" And another thing - it's f'ckin' scary.

TO BE CONTINUED...

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 3:03 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

Damn Graham your passion is admirable.
Mines on the way - love the film! Check out Raines commentary on the blu ray - well done & not too difficult to read between the lines how much of a ruffian Michael Winner was.

I only wish I could project this same passion for my OWN grail, May's THE ROAD WARRIOR- alas not only the tapes are lost to the ages, the damn scores & parts are too.
No one would bother to 'take down ' this one. Boo hoo.

 
 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 7:48 PM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

First impressions - I apologise in advance for incontenent rabbits, but this is real life stream-of-consciousness. I'll get my ideas together over a series of subsequent posts. I hardly ever comment on a release after only having heard it once, but here I go.

Absolutely magnificent. That's it, it's f'ckin' awesome! Having lost all reasonably balanced readers with that comment, I shall proceed to rabbit on regardless. First impressions - it's amazing, it really is. Fine booklet and presentation. Good notes by our Jeff Bond and dear James Phillips. One error (this is "down the pub" spontaneity) - Jeff credits Gil Mellé as having scored the TV Movie THE ASTRONAUT. Pretty much sure that's not so. We had a thread about it. No music credit - I think it was during the musicians' strike - and the tacked-on (?) score sounds nothing like Mellé. And if there's one thing that Mellé had, it was a totally unique voice. I love James Phillips' quotes from his correspondence with Gil - Talking about his electronics in the score, Mellé says, "These were not sound effects, but intervallic, harmonic nuance transmogrification." I goddam love Gil Mellé.

The music itself is mindbending, but I'll rabbit on about that another day. However, I'll start now, may as well. I think that what I always loved about Mellé's scores is that they were rarely just functional, or a product of their time. I find much of his work impossible to pigeonhole. Jeff Bond mentions (in my words) that this score straddles jazz, symphonic and avant-garde, without really settling on one, but encapsulating all. That's what I love! It's so different, so beyond the conventional, but with a clarity of vision which never makes it sound cobbled-together.

More rabbits - I was occasionally surprised, because I thought I knew this music fairly well - at the amount of stuff I didn't know, or it was as if I was hearing it for the first time. Perhaps the balancing in the recording made a difference, but there were little double bass notes, or a semi-impro jazz piano riff which sounded different from what I knew/ remembered. Sometimes it was the timing (What? The offbeat is on THAT beat?), on other occasions it was as if the music itself was completely new. I don't think they used the opening minute of the End Credits at all in the film. Or did they? And that almost-jazz intro to the track "Archdiocese Break-in" - was that actually in the film, dialled down so low we couldn't hear it, or completely rejected?

Rabbit jumping off in a different direction now - I always suspected this, having heard a piece of footwear a few times, but COLUMBO actually IS (I think) on this CD! It's the bonus track "TV Drama". Just as Michael Sarrrazin must have been watching THE GENERAL WITH THE COCK-EYED ID in THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD, the protagonists here must have been watching "Death Lends a Hand", because I'm pretty sure that that's what "TV Drama" is, the bit when Robert Culp dumps the body.

I could go on, but I must stop for now. I'll be back though - you have been warned. Oh, by the way, this music isn't only great and brilliant and all that, it's actually interesting! Forget generic "decent, functional" crap. This will make you sit up and go, "WHAT did he just do there?" And another thing - it's f'ckin' scary.

TO BE CONTINUED...




Thanks for your dedicated and enthusiastic testimony! I really enjoy reading your impressions!


You're right about The Astronaut issue.
The reference to the first season of Columbo is also very relevant but I'd like to say it is rather an outgrowth/rework than the original material. I'd like to add that "Lipstick Commercial" has that Columbo texture too.

Above all, the score has that peculiar Mellé's melancoly and bitter sweetness.
The use of electric piano, violin and brass is so typical of his trade mark.
“Archdiocese Break-In" foreshadows the fusion jazz/funk jazz style of Starship Invasions.

 
 Posted:   May 22, 2019 - 8:11 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

The Grahamwatt Experience

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 3:10 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

:: What I like the most about this score is the silky-smooth, sweet, intimistic moments:

“The Sentinel - Main Title”
“Marked Child”
“Prospective Tenant”
“Convicted Murderess / Never Saw Him Before”
“I’d Like To Take A Look At That House”
“Archdiocese Break-In”
“The Sentinel - End Credits”


Single Favorite Score Track
“Archdiocese Break-In”

Favorite Source Tracks
“Lipstick Commercial”
“T.V. Drama”

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 4:16 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

:: What I like the most about this score is the silky-smooth, sweet, intimistic moments:

“The Sentinel - Main Title”
“Marked Child”
“Prospective Tenant”
“Convicted Murderess / Never Saw Him Before”
“I’d Like To Take A Look At That House”
“Archdiocese Break-In”
“The Sentinel - End Credits”


Single Favorite Score Track
“Archdiocese Break-In”

Favorite Source Tracks
“Lipstick Commercial”
“T.V. Drama”


Some of those source tracks are great. I love "Lipstick Commercial" too! It's so cool! The "TV Drama" one is terrific too, because it's not in any way pastiche, being right out of COLUMBO (with a few changes as you say, Member, but "Death Lends a a Hand" it certainly is/ was). I also really like the smoochy "Memento" track. Surely Gil Mellé himself is playing baritone sax there?

The silky smooth intimistic moments that you mention are wonderful too, but I think it's ALL wonderful. When it gathers all its forces together its powerhouse spine-chillingly humungous! It looks back towards FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY, but also ahead to stuff such as BLOOD BEACH. And all those amazingly audacious screechings and electronics. I just love the whole thing.

I'm still trying to discover why some tracks sound different to what I was used to hearing. Maybe the electronics are brought more to the front in this release than would have been heard before... Going back to listen to it soon. And about a hundred times more, on constant repeat.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 4:28 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

:: What I like the most about this score is the silky-smooth, sweet, intimistic moments:

“The Sentinel - Main Title”
“Marked Child”
“Prospective Tenant”
“Convicted Murderess / Never Saw Him Before”
“I’d Like To Take A Look At That House”
“Archdiocese Break-In”
“The Sentinel - End Credits”


Single Favorite Score Track
“Archdiocese Break-In”

Favorite Source Tracks
“Lipstick Commercial”
“T.V. Drama”


Some of those source tracks are great. I love "Lipstick Commercial" too! It's so cool! The "TV Drama" one is terrific too, because it's not in any way pastiche, being right out of COLUMBO (with a few changes as you say, Member, but "Death Lends a a Hand" it certainly is/ was). I also really like the smoochy "Memento" track. Surely Gil Mellé himself is playing baritone sax there?

The silky smooth intimistic moments that you mention are wonderful too, but I think it's ALL wonderful. When it gathers all its forces together its powerhouse spine-chillingly humungous! It looks back towards FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY, but also ahead to stuff such as BLOOD BEACH. And all those amazingly audacious screechings and electronics. I just love the whole thing.

I'm still trying to discover why some tracks sound different to what I was used to hearing. Maybe the electronics are brought more to the front in this release than would have been heard before... Going back to listen to it soon. And about a hundred times more, on constant repeat.




:: I love the feeling created by the use of the electric piano throughout the tracks.

Have you noticed that music supervisor Hal Mooney is part of the project?
Mooney's onscreen credits appeared on most seventies Universal shows like Columbo, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The night Stalker, to name but a few.

I also noticed the name of pianist and synth player Ian Underwood that is associated with Jerry Fielding's scores from the mid-seventies: see Demon Seed, Escape from Alcatraz.

Back to Robert Prince, he and Mellé worked during the first season of Rod Serling's Night Gallery. I wonder when did they meet first?

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 4:51 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Yup, noticed the info on Hal Mooney, and noted the Ian Underwood reference. Gil did consider Robert Prince as a "friend", but I don't know what that really means in the business.

I had time to put on the first few tracks again. Because everything's a lot clearer than heard before (in my case, in the cinema, on cassette tape from the VHS tape - no BluRay yet, GoblinScore! - and of course the unmentionable), I'm hearing a lot more jazz leanings than ever. The piano work and the guitar and double bass always put me in mind of people like Richie Beirach and John Abercrombie. So much of it is closer to the End Titles of THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR and BORDERLINE (the quiet build-up in that score's End Titles, before the Santana explosion) than I had realised.

I also noticed, in Track 1 ("There is Danger") an almost electronic buzzing which I certainly hadn't picked up on before. I even thought it might be a flaw in the track, but I guess not. I was so used to hearing it "clean" (in inverted commas, meaning "a bit muffled"). I'll ask anyway - Is that supposed to be there?

Still interested to know if some of the music on the CD went unused in the film. There are moments I don't recall, such as that jazzy intro to "Archdiocese Break-in".

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 5:55 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

I wish to enjoy anything in life as much as Graham Watt enjoys this score

 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I wish to enjoy anything in life as much as Graham Watt enjoys this score

I fully endorse this. It was Graham's enthusiasm that convinced me to order this, though it hasn't been a score I've been seeking. Plus I just learned about a jazz musician I didn't know, Richie Beirach.

Double plus good!

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 6:30 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

For anybody who cares, two names mentioned here--Robert prince and Ian Underwood--had interesting musical careers beyond their film music work. Prince wrote some excellent jazzy ballets for Jerome Robbins, and Ian Underwood joined Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention in 1967, playing all varieties of woodwinds, keyboards, and synthesizers. His former wife, Ruth Underwood, later joined Zappa's band as a mallet player. Both made tremendous contributions to Zappa's music.

 
 
 Posted:   May 23, 2019 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Jings! I feel a lot of responsibility after making one or two people buy this CD based on my comments. I hope you like it, but in the end it's not my fault if our tastes differ!

Gave this another spin, the first of many more. What I mentioned before, about the kind of electronic buzz in the opening track which I'd never noticed before (a million times watching the video recording) is now, I'm sure, not a flaw. It comes in right "on cue" at the 18-second mark - a kind of frying pan sizzle sound - and it appears later in the score at given moments which don't sound like a recording glitch. It's very subtle. But this is a boring paragraph to write, so let me express my unbridled enthusiasm once more - This is freakin' genius, man!

I don't know what it is about those guys with a jazz background. So many of them latched onto some way of pushing the boundaries in music, and Gil Mellé is a pretty damn good example. But we could list hundreds. It's a real eye/ear-opener when we start digging deep into what's beyond our realm of comprehension musically. I know, that sounds so pompous, but basically I'm saying that I think in general we're so used to expecting the "routine", the "functional" music as it works in films - and accepting it as such - that when something really amazing happens we're kind of non-plussed. That's not to say that THE SENTINEL is not accessible. It's totally accessible, but it's far from merely routine or functional. I'm reminded of people like Don Ellis. He could grab any audience immediately, but beyond that you'd hear a really unique striving to overturn conventions. But again I'm on the verge of (sounding like I'm) talking bollocks. However, in order to finish this less-boring-than-the-first-paragraph, but still pretty insufferable, I'll say boldly that if you like Denny Zeitlin's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, you'll probably like this. Denny Zeitlin! Jazz! Psychiatrist! I may have put my foot in it just mentioning him, and that score of his. "They're not at all alike!", you rightly proclaim. But merely as a man-down-the-pub chat, it's okay to say it, I think.

Oh - villa! So glad you brought up Ian Underwood and Frank Zappa! I didn't know that connection before, but it's interesting that David Raksin - who was constantly supportive of Zappa, and vice-versa - took his entire UCLA class to one of THE SENTINEL's scoring sessions, to see Mellé's "radical methodologies" (Mellé's words, as reported in the liner notes, from correspondence with James Phillips). It's like six degrees of separation, even if here there's only two. I like to be reminded how nothing exists in a vacuum. Sometimes, as a film music geek, I think that all those composers do these amazing things without ever being in contact with other composers-writers-musicians, or supermarket staff. I occasionally even think they've never gone to the toilet. But I actually love how everything is interconnected. At first it seems to make things harder to accept, but in the end they turn out easier to "understand" - and that increases my appreciation of absolutely everything tenfold.

I might have written a tremendous amount of crap right now, but I'm going to hit the button in case I repent and those last twenty minutes would have been in vain. Here goes - click...

Oh, but before I sign off, I must say that I'm putting THE SENTINEL on hold for a day or two until I hear my other purchases from the same batch. "Queen Martin Meets the Detectives" is up next. I sure hope it's functional, routine and conventional, or my head will explode.

 
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