From the Record Shelves #239

Barbara Surrenders

LP United Artists UAL-4005

Today’s soundtrack to my breakfast is not happy—not a very positive one. And how could it be when Johnny Mandel’s great jazz score was written for a dramatic and tragic, reality based film I Want to Live in which Susan Hayward’s character Barbara, though innocent, becomes condemned and finally executed?

Johnny Mandel (1925–2020) was a trombonist and arranger working, among others, with Jimmy Dorsey and Count Basie.

The music is, if I quote what is written on the record, “conducted by the composer and played by top West Coast Jazz Musicians.”

This piece includes five percussionists, including Mel Lewis and Shelly Manne. According to the composer, the drums represent the force of law and order.