Sure Alfred Newman is known for towering, drama-filled epics like THE ROBE and HOW THE WEST WAS WON. But I have to confess that I’m even more game for the legendary composer’s far frothier stuff. It seems that Newman was just as prolific, if unsung with sweet, jazzy comedy, an effervescent touch for orchestra and brass that Kritzerland is finally giving a chance to shine with such confections as TAKE CARE OF MY LITTLE GIRL and THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH. Now THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY is all ours for Newman’s 1961 score, whose wedding bells herald Fred Astaire’s arrival to upset Debbie Reynold’s nuptials to Tab Hunter. A master of instantly great themes, Newman’s got a wonderful, gently swooning number here that drives the movie’s gentle shenanigans as Astaire’s dapper ne’er do tries to get his family back together.

Newman’s music is all shimmering, incredibly lush goodness, a hangdog horn speaking for the comedic machinations at hand as the strings provide the soft cushion for his jazz stylings, creating a soothingly emotional sound that’s at once traditionally Hollywood, but hip for a Mad Men era that was about to swing. But Kritzerland’s excellent mastering of PLEASURE makes it sound like the score went down yesterday, offering the big extra treat of a supplemental section that shows off Newman’s big band and more intimate nightclub chops in his renditions of “That Old Black Magic,” “Personality” and “Easy Living.” Sure, those thundering herds of Romans and Texas steers might be impressive in Newman’s boundless repertoire, but you can’t exactly drink “champagne” to them, a PLEASURE afforded here in smiling abundance.



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