Editorial: Also Received
EDITOR’S NOTE: Occasionally we find
ourselves so inundated in new works that we’re unable to give the full review
treatment to each release. Gary Dalkin and Mark Hockley review some of these
below. - MM
The soundtrack album of the film of the
stage musical of the film The Producers (Music and lyrics by Mel Brooks
- Sony Classical 759802 - running time 67.31). I’m sure it’s lots of fun on
stage, but it’s an uninspiring stand alone album; while it may be Brooks’
greatest success in a long time, I wouldn’t encourage him to give up the day
job. ‘Springtime for Hitler’ remains Brooks’ finest musical moment, but really
needs the visuals to make its point. Otherwise this is exuberant, silly and
energetic, but doesn’t have sufficient musical class to make the top grade.
Vastly more enjoyable is Good Night, and
Good Luck (Concord Jazz 00113431230724 – running time 51.18), a set of 14
classic jazz songs and one instrumental wonderfully performed by Dianne Reeves.
An impeccable line-up of jazz musicians deliver a smokey 1950’s atmosphere,
from the playful ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’ to Cole Porter’s unsettling
‘I’ve Got My Eyes on You’ through Victor Young’s ‘When I Fall in Love’ to the
closing Arlen-Mercer tune ‘One For My Baby’. In the absence of a new Ella
Fitzgerald album this year this will do perfectly well.
Debit) by Andrés Goldstein and Daniel Tarrab (Swing – promo - running time
37.33 - www.swingmusica.com)
showcases the composers’ score for the acclaimed Argentinean documentary.
Difficult to pigeonhole, and the better for it, this might be summarised as
Latin folk-jazz-rock. Effective it is too, with some memorable melodies and
quirky surprises. It’s a world away from the same composer’s elegant orchestral
scores for Some Who Lived and La Puta y la Bellena, but certainly
shows their innovation and versatility.
(Perseverance PRD 006 – running time 79.45 – includes 22.58 interview by Robin
Esterhammer with composer Dennis Drieth and director Mark Goldblatt). This is
Dennis Drieth’s inventive score for the first film based on the Marvel
comicbook character. A mixture of orchestral writing, electronics and Asian
percussion, there’s a lot of imagination with a few cracking set-pieces
(‘Harbour Shoot-em-up’ is a real adrenaline pumper) but also too much low key
suspense for constant engagement. Think of it as a pulp companion to Dave
It also stands up well against Carlo Siliotto’s music for the recent
The sound is very dry and detailed. In addition, there are very enthusiastic
and knowledgeable notes by Paul Tonks, formerly of FMOTW.
Friday the Thirteenth Part VII: The New
Blood and Part VIII by Fred Mollin (BSXCD 8847 –
running time: 58:42). The Friday the Thirteenth series of movies have
never been noted for their music. In fact, I’m confident that few would be able
to remember a single theme or motif from any one of the seemingly endless stalk
and slash epics. Oddly enough, the first thing that struck me about Part
VII: The New Blood was that initially it sounds as if the composer is
actually trying to inject something fresh into the proceedings with a motif
that brings to mind, in a sub-par kind of way, something like Fred Myrow and
Malcolm Seagrave’s magnificent Phantasm theme. But where the Phantasm
score developed its theme carefully and imaginatively, Mollin undermines any
potential his motif may have, hammering it into the ground with repetition and
lack of development. This renders the entire score almost redundant, which is a
pity because something far better could have been achieved with the core idea.
Even though it was very welcome to hear something vaguely melodic in a Friday
the Thirteenth movie, Mollin’s failure to create anything of distinction
signals the death knell for the CD overall. The second installment represented
here, Part VII Jason Takes Manhattan, is far more workmanlike and
also of less interest. While it presses all of the expected jump and jolt
buttons, it lacks any kind of ambition. Much like the movies themselves.
The Producers: 2.5
Good Night, and Good Luck: 4
The Punisher: 3.5
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood & Part VIII: 1.5