What type of jazz is that?

What type of jazz (you know, bebop, cool, fusion, etc.) do you call the music that often accompanies plot development sequences in ‘caper flicks?’ You can hear it in the ‘Oceans 11’ movies and it’s featured prominently on every episode of the tv show ‘Leverage’

Anyway, I really like the sound and would like to find more of it to listen to. Suggestions and recommendations?

Is this the sound you’re wanting to know about?

David Holmes Rodney Yates

No help on the name of the “type” but I like it, too, and am also curious what to call it.

Yes, that’s very much in the same vein. Often times there’s a plucked string bass prominently featured.

I will be interested in other folks’ POVs.

I love the music - I guess I think of it as “Trip Hop Crime Jazz” - Trip Hop because it has a lot of single-composer-using-studio-tools types of production in it, like the Trip Hop of Massive Attack or Portishead. Crime Jazz because it is trying to play the same role as this type of music from back in the day:


Also, I look at this music as an homage to French New Wave cinema, who used Miles Davis and other jazzcats in some of their soundtracks, and Soderburgh is a film geek.

Can’t really help with genre name, but you probably would enjoy a lot of Henry Mancini and Quincy Jones.

This may not help at all, but it’s from the comments for that linked tune:

Thank you all for your assistance. Yes, going back a generation this would be music composed by folks like Miles Davis, Henry Mancini, and Quincy Jones. Contemporary artists in this form borrow heavily from their ilk and the introduction of electronics has further improved/developed this interesting subgenre.

One thing that jazz does better than just about any other musical form is establish mood. “Noire” seems a useful adjective in describing the mood/feeling associated with this particular type of music.

Radio in my youth (1950s, let’s say) made much use of the “noir” sounds from movies of the era.

A few specific tunes I really liked then and still do:

Harlem Nocturne (Earle Hagen)

Main Title (“A Streetcar Named Desire”) / Alex North (Soundtrack)

Skip Martin “The Music From Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” 1959 Crime Jazz FULL ALBUM

“Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” by Richard Rogers

Sounds like some sort of muscular space music to me.

I’d call it “dark jazz.” See if the playlist here calls up the right kind of mood for you.