Arthur vint & associates
Arthur Vint & Associates new album, Death Rides A Horse, further explores themes from their debut album, Through The Badlands, this time focusing on the music of the great Spaghetti Western soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone. The band interprets music featured in the films A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Once Upon A Time In The West, Vamos A Matar Compañeros, and of course, Death Rides A Horse in their unique country/jazz style. Bandleader, composer and drummer Arthur Vint steps out in a new role of arranger, taking Morricone's often orchestral pieces and tailoring them for his 9 piece ensemble of harmonica, violin, saxophone, bass clarinet, electric and acoustic guitars, piano, bass and drums. Ropeadope Records will release Death Rides A Horse on Friday, July 14th.
In the summer of 2016, Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema approached Arthur and his band about performing a set of music before a screening of The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Arthur took the opportunity to delve into Morricone's repertoire and began by writing an arrangement of the title theme from TGTB&TU. Before he knew it, Arthur had ended up transcribing and arranging over a dozen pieces from classic Spaghetti Westerns from the 1960's and 70's. Left with more music than could be performed at the Nitehawk screening, Vint began planning to make this recording. Although Ennio Morricone's music has been revisited many times, Vint & Associates offer a new treatment here, with fresh orchestrations and extended sections for improvisation.
This album features the same musicians as on Through The Badlands, with the addition of acoustic guitar to fill out the sound. Arthur Vint & Associates is: Arthur Vint (drums) Ian Stapp (bass) Jon Cowherd (piano, organ) Tony Scherr (electric guitar) Roy Williams (acoustic guitar) Andrew Halchak (bass clarinet, clarinet, flute) Rich Perry (tenor sax) Blanca Cecilia González (violin) and Yvonnick Prene (harmonica).
Many of you will recognize the iconic imagery of James Earle Fraser's "End Of The Trail," which has been reproduced thousands of times in popular culture. Originally a larger than life plaster statue, "End Of The Trail" depicts a slumped Native American on his horse, pushed to a precipice, which Fraser intended to as the edge of the Pacific ocean, representing the forcible westward expansion of white settlers into Native land. A critic wrote in 1920 that Fraser's statue was an indictment of "the national stupidity that has greedily and cruelly destroyed a race of people possessing imagination, integrity, fidelity and nobility." Seen on the cover of Death Rides A Horse, artist Eric W. Palmer flips the script, showing a cowboy who has met his maker, ostensibly by the same brave from the famous image. The album cover artwork, while a literal interpretation of the album title, has a strong anti-imperial, anti-colonialist message, which hopefully James Earle Fraser would appreciate.