Music in Film: The Reel Deal
Before becoming a Hollywood producer, Richard Baratta was a serious jazz drummer on the New York City scene of the 1970s and ’80s. Seeking a change, he moved out west and worked his way up the ladder in the film industry, eventually producing hit films such as Joker and The Irishman. But the music still called to him. After finding himself back on the bandstand alongside top talents such as Eric Alexander, Mike LeDonne and Marcus Printup, Baratta decided to trade the film set for the drum set once again. The Tenafly, New Jersey, resident put together a crack ensemble and hit the studio for what would be his debut recording, Music in Film: The Reel Deal (Savant). The concept was simple — he’d play music from films he’d loved or been involved in making. So the session includes the Bacharach-David title song from Alfie; tunes from the movie musicals Rent, West Side Story and The Sound of Music; themes from the big screen (The Godfather) and small (Peter Gunn); and even The Beatles’ “Come Together,” which was used in the film Across the Universe. Baratta and company bring a lively, almost blithe interpretation to Fred Neil’s wistful “Everybody’s Talkin’,” from the Oscar-winning Midnight Cowboy. Saxophonist Vincent Herring and guitarist Paul Bollenback deliver engaging solos over the unrelenting swing laid down by Baratta, pianist and arranger Bill O’Connell and bassist Michael Goetz. O’Connell also unleashes a corker of a solo, more than keeping pace with the swift-moving rhythm section.