Soul Jazz Records Presents: TV Sound and Image (British Tv, Film and Library Composers
TV Sound and Image, Soul Jazz's 2012 double-disc foray into the world of Library Music -- the music contracted by music production houses with the intent that the recordings would be licensed to various film, television, and radio programs -- concentrates on British composers and musicians who worked between 1956 and 1980. It's fair to call this the golden age of Library Music, and this 36-track compilation contains a fair chunk of the classics from this golden age, sometimes perhaps tipping a little too heavily into the recognizable, as it features such well-known names as Tony Hatch, Roy Budd, Pentangle, and John Barry. Such reliance on artists with a known catalog outside of the realm of Library Music may at first seem off-putting to those crate-diggers who consider Library Music the province of the anonymous, but by concentrating on themes that are familiar because of their repetition on British TV, this winds up as not only an entertaining nostalgia trip -- either for those who lived through the era or those who have always romanticized it -- but a good introduction to the pleasures of Library Music, where familiar sounds and styles of the day (candied strings, blaring horns, fuzz guitars, paisley-colored rhythms) were sweetened during an adaptation to the widest possible audience. This is fun stuff and, with Soul Jazz's in-depth liner notes, quite informative too.