CD Review: A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack

A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Way before she trekked the Pacific trail, Reese Witherspoon braved 2,000 miles of the Kalahari desert in this surprisingly perilous 1993 adventure film from the family-friendly likes of Disney, who were certainly showing surprising bite at the time with the such movies as WHITE FANG. Having released that double score (along with a bunch of worthy soundtracks from other unlikely Disney pictures), Intrada dips again into the well they first dug for PLACE at the time of its release, now coming up with 75 minutes to fully show off James Horner’s relatively unsung, strikingly epic score. Even though he ventured […]Read On »

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CD Review: FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack

FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland Records

Movie jazz has always seemed to find a home in Manhattan, and few composers awash in the spirit of an unsleeping city of a thousand stories have embodied those rhythms with the distinctive, thematic flair of Dave Grusin. Given a trademark NYC sound most often comprised of mellow electric percussion, reflective piano and wistful strings, Grusin has heard the city as both a place of danger (THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR), gilded society (BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES) and eccentric criminal intent (THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE). But more often than not, it’s the vibes of beautiful, soft romance in scores […]Read On »

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CD Review: ETHEL soundtrack

ETHEL soundtrack | ©2015 Perseverance Records

Having started off with some fairly wacky narrative films like STREETS OF RAGE and way more artistic indie efforts like AMY’S ORGASM, Miriam Cutler has essentially become one of the queens of documentary scoring to the rhythmic tunes of LOST IN LA MANCHA, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT and the Emmy-nominated THE DESERT OF FORBIDDEN ART. Yet with so many works, Cutler remains truthfully under-represented on CD, a fact that Perseverance’s release of her score for the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary ETHEL does a charming, and ultimately moving bit to remedy. Reteaming with GHOSTS OF ABU GHARIB director Rory Kennedy for a very […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE GREAT INVISIBLE soundtrack

THE GREAT INVISIBLE soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

Ry Cooder’s ethereal scores merged country-folk guitar with blues rhythms, harmonica joining with rural percussion and eerie atmospheres of synths and metal to create such enticingly regional scores as SOUTHERN COMFORT, THE LONG RIDERS and PARIS, TEXAS – a landmark, often Tex-Med groove that has since been exceptionally taken up by David Wingo in such transfixing Southern Gothic scores asMUD and JOE. While Wingo has put his own melodic stamp on characters inhabiting the deep woods, the composer now chronicles the real deal as he plays one of the most catastrophic events to hit the Gulf of Mexico in the […]Read On »

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CD Review: KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1,000 edition) soundtrack

KING SOLOMON'S MINES soundtrack | ©2014 Quartet Records

They were musical equals in my opinion. Yet for the better part of the careers of John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith, it always seemed that the latter was chasing the coattails of the first when it came to picture quality. For if John got Irwin Allen’s THE TOWERING INFERNO, then Jerry received that producers’ dog called THE SWARM. While John flew with SUPERMAN, Jerry remained earthbound in the enjoyably silly company of SUPERGIRL. But perhaps no second-cousin removed picture that Goldsmith got to score was a ludicrously close to aping a way better picture than when it came to comparing […]Read On »

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CD Review: BISEXUAL and TAROT (500 edition) soundtrack

TAROT soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

One of France’s most overlooked imports to Hollywood might be the late Michel Colombier, whose pop sensibilities particularly rocked the 80s with the funky synths of PURPLE RAIN, THE MONEY PIT‘s jazzy comedy and AGAINST ALL ODD‘s sensual Latin exotica – easily one of the era’s sexiest, and literally heavy breathing scores. But Colombier was just as lustful in the 70s even after stroking the ego of Hollywood’s biggest evil computer for COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT a carnal talent that Music Box reminds us of in the release of 1975s LES ONZE MILLE VERGES (aka THE 11,000 SEXES or the […]Read On »

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CD Review: STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (3,000 edition) soundtrack

STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE soundtrack | ©2015 La La Land Records

Since the days the U.S.S. Enterprise set space sail on vinyl, the franchise’s TV music universe has beamed from Varese Sarabande to GNP/Crescendo and Film Score Monthly, but perhaps not so exhaustively as in the good hands of La La Land Records, who beyond their releases of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SAPCE NINE and VOYAGER could lay claim to releasing just about every note of Classic Trek music in an astounding box set, which offered 15 CD’s suffused with the kind of distinctive themes and melody that would essentially be phasered out when the show was reborn in […]Read On »

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CD Review: WOLF HALL soundtrack

WOLF HALL soundtrack | ©2015 Silva Screen Records

It’s understandable that the BBC (let alone America) can’t get enough of the wildest member of England’s Royal Family and his entourage, who helped the lusty Henry VIII break from the Roman Catholic Church. The chief architect in his court who enabled is wife-laden plans was Thomas Cromwell, not exactly a babe magnet himself, but serpentine in his machinations that changed the fate of Britain. Given this interior, oft-villainized figure who spawned Hilary Mantle’s novels and this six-episode adaptation, it’s understood that a big, robust orchestral score might not be the way to go, or either the kind of contemporiazed […]Read On »

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THE ORDER: 1886 composer Jason Graves joins the steampunk video game – Interview

THE ORDER soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

Since his 2005 video game scoring debuts with RISE OF THE KASAI and GAUNTLET: SEVEN SORROWS, Jason Graves has played faithful service to a genre that’s continually evolved in terms of its striking visuals and bold storytelling as the genre has done its damnedest to shirk the mantle of being kid’s stuff, no more so than in the quality of its music. Action has been a particular forte for Graves, who’s proved that one could indeed hear a terrifying orchestra shriek in the void with the DEAD SPACE franchise. He’s given the stuff of soaring fantasy to DUNGEON SEIGE III […]Read On »

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CD Review: ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack

ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

There are composers like Philip Glass (CANDYMAN) who start out in the concert hall, and go onto blaze impressive new careers in Hollywood. Then there are those like Andre Previn (ELMER GANTRY), who prolifically begin in tinsel town, only to leave it completely behind. And then there are such maestros as John Corigliano (ALTERED STATES), who briefly tread in Hollywood while making sure not to quit their day jobs, leaving behind a precious few soundtracks that show the dazzling movie career that could have been. On that note, perhaps no conductor could have been a Hollywood contender like Leonard Bernstein, […]Read On »

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