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Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.
Scott Bradley (1891-1977) was the musical wizard behind M-G-M's classic Golden Age cartoons. From 1934 to 1957, Bradley was the studio's resident animation composer and provided the musical identity for William Hanna and Joseph Barbera's popular Tom and Jerry shorts as well as the madcap gag-fests of animation legend Tex Avery.
Along with his counterpart at Warner Bros., Bradley helped create the entire genre of "cartoon music," a symphonic/big band fusion that quoted from classical literature and popular songs as it did spectacular acrobatics to catch the on-screen action.
Unlike Carl Stalling's Warner Bros. cartoons, which were heavy in dialogue to allow for characterization, the chase-driven Tom and Jerrys were largely bereft of dialogue, and allowed Bradley more latitude for musical cohesion. However, the rapid-fire Tex Avery shorts required music every bit as schizophrenic and, in retrospect, postmodern as Stalling's famous scores.
Bradley's style is instantly recognizable to the millions who have adored these cartoons—hearing it is like welcoming an old friend. Incredibly, this is the first-ever album release of his work. (An earlier Tex Avery compilation CD was taken from the shorts' composite soundtracks, including dialogue and effects.)
For this premiere CD, FSM has concentrated on Bradley's last period at M-G-M, the reason being that these offer the best sound quality. Nine cartoon scores survive in glorious stereo sound from the original 35mm three-track masters and have been supplemented with an additional 16 monaural cartoons from 17.5mm masters.
The result is 25 complete (or nearly complete) cartoon scores in marvelous sound quality, especially when compared to other historical cartoon music CDs. The scores cover a cross-section of Tom and Jerry and Tex Avery shorts in a variety of styles (romantic, straight-ahead chase, jazzy) and for different settings (Naples, the Old West, 19th-century France), with an enjoyable variety of the main title themes.
This groundbreaking release of the music of Scott Bradley features liner notes by animation music authority Daniel Goldmark.