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Sort of off topic - I've been watching Peter Gunn episodes on Amazon Prime. Lots of jazzy alto flute sounds in the intro and sometimes as background to the stories.
Henry Mancini and his contemporaries were big fans of the alto flute - used much as you describe here. It appears fairly frequently in many contemporary soundtracks, but frequently blended with other instruments for coloring. Fluttertongue alto flutes with low violin or viola trem is a nice color.
 
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