Gil Mellé

Gilbert John "Gil" Mellé (31 December 1931 28 October 2004) was an American artist, jazz musician and film composer.[1][2]

Gil Mellé
Birth nameGilbert John Mellé
Born(1931-12-31)December 31, 1931
New York, New York, United States
DiedOctober 28, 2004(2004-10-28) (aged 72)
Malibu, California, United States
GenresJazz, electronic, experimental, Third stream
Occupation(s)Composer, instrumentalist, sound engineer
InstrumentsSynthesizer, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Years active1953-2004
Associated actsZoot Sims
George Wallington
Max Roach
Tal Farlow
Oscar Pettiford
Ed Thigpen
Kenny Dorham

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.[3][4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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). He provided music for four episodes of NBC's Columbo and composed the theme music for the series, Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Mellé died of a heart attack at his home in Malibu, California in October 2004.


As composer and arranger

Film scores

Television scores

Television series

Televisions films

Awards and nominations


  1. "Gil Melle: 1931-2004". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  2. "Gil Melle | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  3. "Gil Mellé". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  4. "Gil Mellé Quintet". Discogs. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  5. Project, Jazz Discography. "Gil Melle Discography". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  6. "Gil Mellé: Instrumental Inventions - JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
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