Have you ever gone on a wild goose chase to get an album that's hard to find but you don't know why because it's so good? That's what I had to do to own Take it from the Top by the Bob James Trio. How I heard it in the first place was by browsing the shelves at my Denver Public Library branch.
One day, I had decided to discover new music by pulling CDs at random from our jazz shelves to check out, starting with the A's. The first major stand-out I came across was Take it from the Top (2004). In hindsight, I'm rather proud that we have it. Although the group is named after Bob James the pianist, James Genus (bass) and Billy Kilson (drums) make it what it is for me. It's difficult to surpass the crisp sound of a trio consisting of these three instruments.
Louis Malle had his feature filmmaking debut at age twenty-four with this spellbinding thriller that takes place one night in Paris. Beautiful Florence (Jeanne Moreau) and her lover Julien (Maurice Ronet) murder her wealthy husband, which leads to mistaken identity and more murder.
As Julien attempts to retrieve an incriminating piece of evidence from the crime, he becomes trapped in an elevator while Florence wanders the rainy, neon-lit night, thinking she's been abandoned. Meanwhile, an impulsive teenage couple has stolen Julien's car and gone on a joyride, which results in tragedy -- and more complications for Julien.