ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK – To Ride a White Horse (Festival Records, 1966)
Sublimely stated, utterly gorgeous surf soundtrack by the uncrowned king of Australian jazz, Sven Libaek. Flute, vibes, and bossa nova rhythyms dominate in a way that sometimes gets me thinking a less-campy Nina Rota, but the whole shebang configures in a way few others – aside from fellow Aussie John Sangster, who, not coincidentally, plays on this here record – were able to make their own. Mod style is nicely enriched by jazz depth, and the subtle timelessness Sven brought to all his recordings is on display, ringing ancient and mysterious. And then, there is that waaaay cool, recurring theme: smooth, glassy, and clearly inspired by the hot instrumental surf music then on the wane Down Under. But this makes perfect sense, since Sven had been the A&R man who signed THE ATLANTICS to CBS in 1963, the group who went on to record the biggest Australian surf instro hit of them all, “Bombora”.
Never seen even a moment of this film, but this record gets me imagining all manner of longboard riders slowing turning across perfectly formed waves along the still-unspoilt Gold Coast of Australia, under the sweetest setting suns you could ever lay eyes on.
Thanks to Pecks Spet Rips for the cover pic