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Clint Eastwood was the composer of the films 90 – Variety

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Stan Canton, who went from sideman to Clint Eastwood filmmaker during his nearly 90-year career in music, died in Lenny Nihaus on Thursday in Redlands, California. He was 90 years old.

For Eastwood, Nihaus’ two dozen films include the best score-winning Western “Unforgiven”, Charlie Parker’s biopic “Birds” and the main score of the popular romantic drama “The Bridge of Madison County”.

The two met at Fort Ord, California in 1953, when the two were in the military during the Korean Conflict. “I played jazz jobs at one of Base’s beer clubs, and Clint was shaking at the bar,” Nihaus wrote in an article about the actor-director for his 1996 American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. “On Sunday afternoons I would go to the post and play at a little jazz club in nearby Santa Cruz, and he would be there.”

Nihous’s Army service interrupted Alto playing the saxophone and later making long arrangements for renowned bandleader Stan Canton. He joined the Canton Band in 1951 and rejoined in 1954. Beginning in 1958, he wrote “The Stage Door Swings,” “Sophisticated Approach,” and “Adventures in Standards” for such Canton LPs. He once estimated that he had written 100 arrangements for Canton’s dance band.

He recorded six albums, including his own combo, featuring contemporary and more modern jazz styles for MRC labels in the 1950s. The New York Times once referred to Nihaus’ own music as “linear and sometimes temporarily isolated, signature and oscillating.”

In the late 1950s, he met composer and band leader Jerry Fielding and began composing orchestras for him – initially for singers in Las Vegas, where Fielding was exiled during the Hollywood blacklist, then for TV series including “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Macmillan”. .And wife. “

Fielding has been a regular composer for Eastwood, and since then he has orchestrated four of the 19th Fielding scores of the 1940s as “Lawyer,” “Straw Dog,” “Mechanic,” and “The Gambler”: “The Outlaw, Josie Wells,” “Enforcer.” , “” The Gauntlet “and” Escape from Alcatraz. “

A few years after Fielding’s death in 1980, Nihaus began working as a composer for Eastwood, first setting the new Orleans for the 1984 “Titrop”, then the western “Pale Rider” and the military drama “Heartbreak Ridge”.

Eastwood’s 1988 jazz giant Charlie Parker took the original single from Nihous Parker for the film “Birds” and created a new recorded back track around them. He also taught star Forrest Whitaker the basics of saxophone performance.

He wrote an atonement score for 1997’s “Absolute Power” and 2000’s “Space Cowboy” for Aaron Copeland-style America.

As Eastwood’s confidence in his own music grew as he played the piano, he began writing themes that Nihaus incorporated into his films – “Claudia’s Theme” in 1992, “Unforgiven” and “Do Eyes” in 1995, “Madison County Bridge.” . By 2003, Eastwood was composing full scores (specifically “Mystic River” and “Million Dollar Baby”) but Nihous had the orchestra and managed them. This practice continued through the 2006 “Gran Torino”.

Newhouse has done several television projects for Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Story,” including Eastwood’s “Vanessa in the Garden”; Six installments of Shelley Duval’s “Ferry Tale Theater”; Two parts 1996 miners “Titanic”; And “Lonsom Dove” prequel “Komanch Moon”. She won a 1994 Emmy for the show-time jazz movie “Lush Life” and received a 2006 Emmy nomination for “One More Day” for a Mitch album for her final projects.

Nihaus was born in 1929 in St. Louis, Md. He is the son of a violinist of Russian descent, who acted in a silent-film house. He started composing big-band formats in high school. He attended Los Angeles City College and Los Angeles State College, keeping the mood in composition (going to play jazz in off-campus bands).

Survivors include his wife Patricia, daughter Susan, son-in-law Owen and grandchildren Josh and Emily.

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