February 2005 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Marc Bridle
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Chris Walden Big Band: 'Home of My Heart’  
Music arranged and produced by Chris Walden
  Performers/Performances:
The Jazz band comprises: [Saxes]: Jeff Driskill; Brian Scanlon; Rob Lockart; Pete Christlieb; Brandon Fields; Bob Sheppard; Rick Keller; Tom Petersen. [Trumpets]: Wayne Bergeron; Roger Ingram; Carl Saunders; Kye Palmer; Ron King; Kevin Richardson; Bobby Shew. / [Trombones]: Bob McChesney; Alex Iles; Bruce Otto; Jacques Voyemant; Arturo Velasco; Bryant Byers; Rich Bullock. / [Guitar]: Mitch Holder; Christopher Cross. / [Piano]: Alan Steinberger. / [Bass]: Dave Carpenter. / [Drum]s: Peter Erskine; TonyPia. / [Percussion]: M/B. Gordy. / [Accordion]: Frank Marocco. / [Additional Drum and Synth Programming]: Peter Mosiener and Chris Walden. / [Vocal Solo]: Tierney Sutton.
The numbers comprise:
Cherokee (music by Ray Noble) alto sax: Jeff Driskill, trumpet solo: Kye Palmer
Rainy Day in Vancouver (music by Christopher Cross) soprano sax solo: Bob Sheppard
Film Noir – Parts I, II, III (music by Chris Walden) trombone solo in I – Alex Iles, trumpet solo II – Bobby Shew; and alto sax solo – Brian Scanlon
Mulholland Falls (music by Dave Grusin) flugelhorn solo – Ron King
Here’s Looking At You (music by Charlie Haden) tenor sax solo – Rob Lockart
Star Wars (music by John Williams) tenor sax solo Brandon Fields, drum solo – Peter Erskine
Home of My Heart (music by Chris Walden) fluelhorn solo – Chris Walden, tenor sax solo – Pete Christlieb
Feet First (music by Lyle Mays) piano solo – Alan Steinberger
Here’s That Rainy Day (music by Jimmy van Heusen), trombone solo – Bob McChesney
How Long Has This been Going On? (music & lyrics by George & Ira Gershwin) vocal solo: Tierney Sutton
Nonino (music by Astor Piazolla) accordion solio – Frank Marocco
You Tool Advantage Of Me (music & Lyrics by Richard. Rogers & Lorenz. Hart), tenor sax solo – Rob Lockart
Stolen Moments (music by Oliver Nelson) tenor sax solo: Rick Geller, guitar solo Mitch Holder, drum solo - Tony Pia
Dr Stefan Frank (Music by Peter Wagner and Andy Sedlmayer
  Promo CD
Running Time: 78:05
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Home of My Heart

This CD came to me as a Promo disc with only word-processed documentation, detailing artists and numbers as above. The programme was recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood on September 27 and 28 2002 and January 17 2003. The film music is apparent from the listing. I am told that John Williams thinks highly of this disc but I must admit to being personally disappointed with the incongruous-sounding jazz arrangement of Star Wars - but I hastily add that I enjoyed everything else.

Walden’s virtuoso jazz team plays excitingly, enthusiastically, and they blend, integrate splendidly. The programme has plenty of variety; there is always something to excite and stimulate the ear. The programme opens in high-spirited, up-beat style with Ray Noble’s well-known Cherokee that includes some breath-taking solo alto sax and trumpet solos from Jeff Driskill and Kye Palmer. Feet First is another breezy, foot-tapping track with Alan Steinberger’s hot piano. In a more relaxed mood I especially enjoyed Christopher Gross’s Rainy Day in Vancouver with a gorgeous, hypnotic, Latin-inflected percussion ostinato and a beautifully, slinkily-paced, tenderly romantic tune carried by trumpets and trombones. This track is worth the price of the CD alone. Another enchanting ‘rainy’ number comes with the band’s hauntingly romantic rendering of Here’s That Rainy Day. The title number, Chris Walden’s Home of My Heart is another treasure with lovely romantic solos, including a non-billed piano part, and impressively sophisticated multi-part interplay between the instruments. Rob Lochart’s smoky tenor sax beguiles in Here’s Looking At You. Tango takes over as the brass proudly rasp out Astor Piazzolla’s Nonino with Frank Marocco’s accordion providing appropriate colour. The only vocal number is delivered in great style by smoky-voiced Tierney Sutton, her voice moulding, blending silkily with the band in How Long Has This Been Going On?

Of the film-related numbers, Walden’s three fun pastiche Film-Noire tracks capture, in No.1, the sleazy world of B-film thrillers, No. 2 seems to suggest a more sinister, shadowy, more sophisticated world with blousy trumpet by Bobby Shew, while the faster No. 3 is sardonic and reminds me of something of the world of Bullitt or Dirty Harry. Dave Grusin’s music for Mulholland Falls, sparkles; all dark sophistication

I hope this programme does not languish in Promo-CD land. It deserves a wide general release and every success. Hugely enjoyable.

Ian Lace

41/2

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