I Heard This: Miles Davis, Ascenseur pour l'echafaud


Sunday night, I sat down to watch Louis Malle's 1957 film, Ascenseur pour l'echefaud, better known as Elevator to the Gallows. The whole movie is about a woman (Jeane Moreau) walking the streets of Paris in the rain, searching her lover who just killed her husband. However, the lover gets stuck in the elevator trying to get away from the scene of the crime. It's a tight little crime thriller/psychodrama with moments of great art, especially the scenes of Moreau walking through Paris in the dark. But what struck me the most was the soundtrack, which was composed by Miles Davis fronting a French band he assembled on a European tour. This soundtrack was all slow, drizzly beats, and the sinewy, mournful weeping of Miles' muted horn. It's shadowy as well, very romantic, very moody and pretty much defined the sound of noir. If you can find a copy of the soundtrack in the stores, pick it up. It will be your rainy-day soundtrack, guaranteed.

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