|Birth name||Gilbert John Mellé|
|Born||December 31, 1931|
New York, New York, United States
|Died||October 28, 2004 (aged 72)|
Malibu, California, United States
|Genres||Jazz, electronic, experimental, Third stream|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, instrumentalist, sound engineer|
|Instruments||Synthesizer, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone|
|Associated acts||Zoot Sims|
Life and Career
In the 1950s, Mellé's paintings and sculptures were shown in New York City galleries and he created the cover art for albums by Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins. Mellé played the tenor and baritone saxophone with George Wallington, Max Roach, Tal Farlow, Oscar Pettiford, Ed Thigpen, Kenny Dorham and Zoot Sims, and led a number of sessions recorded for the Blue Note and Prestige labels between 1953 and 1957.
It was Mellé who introduced engineer Rudy Van Gelder to Alfred Lion, the Blue Note Records founder, in 1952. Lion had been impressed with the sound of Mellé's recordings, which were engineered by Van Gelder. Van Gelder was responsible for hundreds of recordings on Blue Note, virtually every session on the label from 1953 to 1967.
As a film and TV composer, Mellé was one of the first to use self-built electronic instruments, either alone or as an added voice among the string, wind, brass, and percussion sections of the orchestra. He was the first to compose a main theme for an American television series arranged entirely for electronic instruments (Rod Serling's Night Gallery).
His credits spanned over 100 film works including The Andromeda Strain (1971), The Organization (1971), Bone (1972), You'll Like My Mother (1972), The Savage is Loose (1974), The Ultimate Warrior (1975), Embryo (1976), The Sentinel (1977), Starship Invasions (1977), Borderline (1980), Blood Beach (1981) and The Last Chase (1981), and TV movies such as My Sweet Charlie (1970), That Certain Summer (1972), The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972), A Cold Night's Death (1973), The President's Plane Is Missing (1973), Frankenstein: The True Story (1973), The Questor Tapes (1974), Killdozer! (1974), Death Scream (1975), A Vacation in Hell (1979), The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (1980) and World War III (1982). Memorables his credits for the NBC's TV series Columbo for which he wrote the themes for four episodes of the first season: "Death Lends a Hand", "Dead Weight", "Short Fuse" and "Blueprint for Murder" (1972).
As composer and arranger
- Gil Mellé Quintet/Sextet (Blue Note, 1953)
- Gil Mellé Quintet with Urbie Green and Tal Farlow (Blue Note, 1953)
- Gil Mellé Quartet featuring Lou Mecca (Blue Note, 1954)
- 5 Impressions of Color (Blue Note, 1955)
- Patterns in Jazz (Blue Note, 1956)
- Primitive Modern (Prestige, 1956)
- Gil's Guests (Prestige, 1956)
- Quadrama (Prestige, 1957)
- Tome VI (Verve, 1967)
- Waterbirds (Nocturne, 1970)
- The Andromeda Strain (Kapp, 1971)
- Mindscapes (Blue Note, 1991)
- The Organization (Intrada, 2010). World premiere release of the original soundtrack of the 1971 film. Produced by Douglass Fake. Liner notes by James Phillips. Art Direction by Joe Sikoyak.
- Borderline (Intrada, 2012). World premiere release of the original score to the 1980 film. Produced by Douglass Fake. Liner Notes by James Phillips. Art Direction by Joe Sikoyak.
- Ironside (1968) - 1 episode
- Then Came Bronson (1969-70) - 2 episodes
- Night Gallery (1969-73) - Theme music
- The Psychiatrist (1970-71) - Theme music
- Columbo (1971-72) - 4 episodes
- Tenafly (1973) - 4 episodes
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-75) - Theme music
- World War III (1982) - Miniseries
- Fatal Vision (1984) - Miniseries
- Veronica Clare (1991) - 9 episodes
- Lieutenant Schuster's Wife (1972)
- That Certain Summer (1972)
- The Victim (1972)
- The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972)
- The Astronaut (1972)
- A Cold Night's Death (1973)
- The Six Million Dollar Man (1973)
- Partners in Crime (1973)
- Savage (1973)
- The President's Plane Is Missing (1973)
- Trapped (1973)
- The Six Million Dollar Man: The Solid Gold Kidnapping (1973)
- Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)
- Legend in Granite (1973)
- The Questor Tapes (1974)
- Killdozer! (1974)
- Hitchhike (1974)
- The Last Angry Man (1974)
- The Savage Is Loose (1974)
- The Missing Are Deadly (1975)
- A Cry for Help (1975)
- The Imposter (1975)
- Crime Club (1975)
- Death Scream (1975)
- The Art of Crime (1975)
- Dynasty (1976)
- Perilous Voyage (1976)
- Gold of the Amazon Women (1979)
- A Vacation in Hell (1979)
- Attica (1980)
- The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (1980)
- Rape and Marriage: The Rideout Case (1980)
- The Intruder Within (1981)
- Through Naked Eyes (1983)
- Jealous (1984)
- Best Kept Secrets (1984)
- Flight 90: Disaster on the Potomac (1984)
- Sweet Revenge (1984)
- Starcrossed (1985)
- When Dreams Come True (1985)
- Killer in the Mirror (1986)
- The Deliberate Stranger (1986)
- Circle of Violence: A Family Drama (1986)
- Stillwatch (1987)
- The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story (1988)
- From the Dead of Night (1989)
- The Case Of The Hillside Stranglers (1989)
- So Proudly We Hail (1990)
- Good Cops, Bad Cops (1990)
- Fire: Trapped on the 37th Floor (1991)
- Night Owl (1993)
Awards and nominations
- "Gil Melle: 1931-2004". www.jazzhouse.org. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- "Gil Melle | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- "Gil Mellé". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- "Gil Mellé Quintet". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- Project, Jazz Discography. "Gil Melle Discography". www.jazzdisco.org. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- "Gil Mellé: Instrumental Inventions - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2018-02-09.