Vinnie Santino
That's Him Officer!

Nothing has a shorter shelf life than a fad. I'm sure we all remember where we were when, in the late '90s, it was proclaimed that getting dressed up and dancing to swing music was in. Imagine my excitement to hear that underground music had taken such a turn that acting bourgeois was suddenly in, and that it was hip and rebellious for musicians to be able to read charts. Thankfully, the underground has moved on, now focusing on music that resembles sounds made by arcade videogames and young boys whose mommies punished them by taking away their pet turtles.

These musings are prompted by Vinnie Santino's That's Him Officer!, supposedly "A collection of Original TV Cop Show Themes" performed by Santino and members of the Royal Crown Revue. Santino has written a series of crime jazz instrumentals for fictional police shows, though he imagines shows with titles like "Spastic Colon," "Prehensile Tongue" and "Natural Born Ugly," the latter obviously a Quinn-Martin Production. Strangely though, Santino misidentifies the period these pieces refer to, which may mislead buyers. '70s crime show themes were far more funk-influenced than these. Instead, as the title "The Man With the Golden Peter Gun" hints, the pieces bear a much stronger resemblance to the '60s themes of movies like The Man With The Golden Arm (1955) and TV shows like Peter Gunn (1958-61).

For fans of that sound, this is a fun collection. The pieces aren't as noir as many of the originals are-the eager-to-please sound of the newer swing bands is front and center here-but every track has something to catch your attention, whether it's a clever take on the sound, a tricky interplay between the horns, or a strong solo. You won't remember many of these themes when the disc isn't playing, but you can't hum any of the originals beside "Peter Gunn" either.
-Alex Rawls

New Orlean's OFFBEAT Magazine

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