Saturday, September 26, 2009

Brian Setzer Recruits Visionary Arranger Frank Comstock

What does a modern-day big band leader do when they want to re-create the sounds of classic 1950s film noir music? For Brian Setzer, the answer was simply to go to the source, the legendary Frank Comstock, who wrote arrangements for Benny Carter, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, and Judy Garland, penned the theme songs for Rocky & Bullwinkle, Adam 12, and Dragnet, and recorded the cult classic 'Music From Outer Space'.

Comstock wrote the horn charts for nine of the twelve tracks on 'Songs From Lonely Avenue, ' (Surfdog/ Oct. 13), having also worked with Setzer on his last album 'Wolfgang's Big Night Out'. As Setzer saw it, only Comstock was capable of putting together these electrifying, sophisticated and yet emotionally raw horn charts, evoking the big-band scores of half a century ago in a language that would connect immediately with the contemporary listener.

"Frank is the only one left, " Setzer says of his collaborator. "He helped invent this sound and, at 87 years old, he's still got it."


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