If there was one music composer that really captured the imagination of the films I’ve watched over the years, it was John Barry. The Oscar winning composer died on Monday at the age of 77.
Listen to any of his music and you can imagine yourself watching a movie. From James Bond films, such as “Goldfinger” to “Thunderball,” and “You Only Live Twice,” to award winning films such as Midnight Cowboy, Dances With Wolves and Out of Africa, John Barry’s music was more than just filler for a movie. It was an experience that made you remember the film long after the end credits.
After spending much of his boyhood steeped in classical music, the British born composer discovered jazz — his idol was Harry James and his favorite music was made by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and the Dorsey Brothers. His jazz influence is clearly evident in the 1981 film, “Body Heat”.
I purchased a compilation CD of his finest works for film in 1992 called, “Moviola”. So, naturally, I’m very sad to hear of his passing. Smooth Jazz and More honors the late composer with selected works from his career.