Playing with Monk: Jazz Goes To The Movies

Jazz Goes To The Movies is a special project of Playing With Monk.

Dasent and Johnston perform jazz interpretations of beloved themes from classic Hollywood films.

From romantic standards that originated as film themes (The Shadow of Your Smile, As Time Goes By), to varied styles ranging from James Bond, Judy Garland, Walt Disney and Federico Fellini, Jazz Goes to the Movies will be a joy for the lover of film music.

Co-leaders Peter Dasent and Phillip Johnston both have careers as jazz musicians and composers of film music.

Dasent is known for Peter Jackson’s early films Heavenly Creatures, Meet The Feebles and Dead Alive.He has arranged six suites of music from Fellini’s films including the Academy Award-winning La Strada (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960) and 8 1/2 (1963). The music has been released on the CD Bravo Nino Rota, performed by his group The Umbrellas with guest mezzo-soprano Michelle Agius-Hall.

Johnston has scored Hollywood films starring Cher and Ryan O’Neal (Faithful), James Spader and Mandy Patinkin (The Music of Chance) and Tim Robbins and William Hurt (Noise), as well as independent films, documentaries and shorts. Johnston is also a lecturer on film music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he teaches composition for film, and the University of Sydney, where he teaches the history of film music. His book Silent Films/Loud Music (Bloomsbury) was released in paperback last year. His early film music has been released on the CD Music for Films on Tzadik Music. 

Here are a few samples of great film themes as performed by Playing with Monk:

Main Theme from Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures (1994) by Peter Dasent


Main Theme from Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 by Nino Rota


“The Godfather Waltz” by Nino Rota from The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)


“If I Only Had A Brain” (Arlen/Harburg) from The Wizard of Oz (1939)


Main Theme from Fedrico Fellini’s Amarcord by Nino Rota


“Addio A Cheyenne” from Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in The West (1968) by Sergio Leone


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Phillip Johnston 0424 655 317

Peter Dasent