NBC’s 1969 one-season series THEN CAME BRONSON had Michael Parks as a freewheelin’ journalist who goes on the road down Route 66, and a whole lot of other byways, as mostly driven by the liltingly romantic music of George Dunning – whose soft, string musings comprise the first CD of this unexpected, but very welcome Intrada release. No dirty, rock and rolling Easy Riders here for the primetime sensibility, just a nice guy cyclist finding kindred spirits on the road. One can certainly see album producer Lukas Kendall’s affinity for Dunning’s sweetly gentle approach, as his scoring here could easily be mistaken for such romantic Classic Trek Dunning episodes as “Metamorphosis” and “The Empath.”

But there’s still a bold, sweeping sense of wanderlust to “Bronson’s” strikingly lavish sound, especially with one of those themes that are particularly great for having its notes exactly match the vowels in the show’s title. While there’s just a bit of period jazz to Dunning’s work, THEN CAME BRONSON‘s second platter is a bit more of a wild one in terms of its more adventurous and jazzy approach, from. “Angels From Hell’s” Stu Phillips getting to show off his gentler biker side with restrained funk, while John Parker swings with sultry big band arrangements, his magical ride with wild horses jumping into nutty cartoon comedy that makes you think the soundtrack had switched to GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. Tom McIntosh uses a siren chorus, as Richard Shores ambles with a sultry trumpet and Phillip Springer grooves with Burt Bacharach-like brass. Such is the varied, entertaining journey of “Bronson’s” musical trip on the mild side, one that thankfully wasn’t out to rebel against the kind of melody that makes old school television scoring still stand out.


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