Robert Drasnin


About Robert Drasnin

An American composer and multi-instrumentalist, Robert Drasnin had a host of television compositions under his belt, including work for Lost in Space, CHiPs, Playhouse 90, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission Impossible, and The Twilight Zone. From 1977 until the early '90s, he was the Director of Music for CBS Entertainment. Before all of that, he played alto, clarinet, and flute in the jazz bands of such leaders as Tommy Dorsey and Red Norvo. His status as an artiste, however, rests upon an album that he might have considered as a trifle at the time. Voodoo!, issued around the late '50s on the tiny Tops label, closely approximated the exotica sound of Martin Denny -- under, apparently, instructions from the Tops A&R chief himself. Drasnin devised a satisfying approximation of Denny's tropical-Latin-lounge jazz hybrid in a somewhat more low-key fashion than Denny himself. Indeed, Drasnin later arranged Denny's Latin Village album. The rare Voodoo! LP was reissued on CD in 1996. In 2007, Drasnin released the Skip Heller-produced Voodoo II, just under 50 years after the release of its predecessor. Drasnin passed away on May 13, 2015 from complications resulting from a fall. Prior to his death, he had been working on material for a third volume in his Voodoo series. The resulting Voodoo III, which was compiled and finished by producer and friend Skip Heller, was released in 2017. ~ Richie Unterberger

Charleston, WV, United States of America
November 17, 1927

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