Providence/Rozsa

July 30, 2006

Even though Providence was released in 1977 and is technically not a golden age score, I am stretching the rules on this one and am including it in the Golden Scores reviews. Rozsa did start writing in the 30’s, the style and flavor is golden age, and it is one of his final films he scored. And just to set the record straight it has nothing to do with the somewhat popular television series of a few years ago. Rozsa passed away in 1995 long before the series even got started.

The film itself was Alain Resnais’s first English language film featuring Dirk Bogarde, Sir John Gielgud, Ellen Burstyn, and David Warner. Winner of several French film awards including the score, this has been shown to be a film ahead of its time. Gielgud portrays a novelist who is sick and dying and creates one last novel based on his family in his mind. The switching between real and imagined make this film a bit difficult to follow for some. This is not true of the fine score of Dr. Rozsa who was 70 at the time he composed this. He created a soundtrack every bit as inviting as Spellbound, Lost Weekend, or Time After Time, three films which have similiar styles and themes in them.

The opening track “The Twilight Waltz” orchestrated for strings and piano is yet another example of the exquistive, warm, romantic, wonderful side of Dr. Rozsa. Close your eyes and if you are old enough to remember Astaire and Rogers just picture them dancing on a ballroom floor so eloquently to the main theme. The “Main Title” is the same theme with the elimination of the piano and the addition of woodwinds and brass to the orchestra. The woodwinds introduce the theme followed by the strings with the famous brass Rozsa chords in the background. While it is played darker in nature than the waltz version it is more of a longing style for things that use to be. While the theme is the same it is like listening to two completely cues. “Leaves” starts on the darker noir side of Rozsa but part way through switches to a softer theme with a solo clarinet providing the melody and strings providing the background. Both “Chase” and “Arrival at the House” are excellent underscore cues that could easily have been written for Brute Force or The Killers. They both feature that dark noir style he developed and made famous in the 40’s. If you enjoy the “Spellbound Concerto” piano piece you will love the version of “The Twilight Waltz” for solo piano. A simple style and arrangement is the thing that makes this track so eloquent in nature. Dr. Rozsa’s style wasn’t to try and dazzle you with a concert style sonata performed by a master piano soloist, but something extremely soothing to your ears. One could easily conjure up that first love while listening to it. “Providence” other than the theme, provides the same feelings to me as the end of Lost Weekend. While the situation seems rather hopeless there is a faint ray of hope filtering through. Not having seen the film for quite sometime “Providence” almost sounds more fitting as the end of the film as opposed to the “Finale” which is a little darker in nature.

The mastering of this particular score Cam Studios, is quite ordinary. Done in 1992, the last 14 years have brought improvements in technology that this recording could benefit from. This Dolby Surround technology likely sounds just fine in a home theater system but is sorely lacking in a standard two speaker stereo system or headphones. The good news is that this recording is still quite available in the marketplace and should be sought out and purchased budget permitting. Other than the main theme which I truly enjoy there is nothing terribly unique or groundbreaking about this soundtrack. As earlier stated there are many references made to earlier scores but that is the Rozsa style and that should have no bearing on getting this work. Recommended.

Golden Scores rating is ***1/2

CD# is CSE 085

Total Time is 35:15

Track listing

1. Twilight Waltz (03:43)

2. Main Title (02:04)

3. Leaves (02:23)

4. Chase (02:45)

5. Arrival at the House (01:53)

6. Sonia and the Holy Shroud (00:57)

7. Twilight Waltz (piano) (03:43)

8. Providence (02:03)

9. Disenchantment (02:40)

10. Kevin and Sonia (01:36)

11. The Dead City (02:58)

12. Helen (02:54)

13. The Public Garden (01:54)

14. The Street (00:59)

15. Finale (02:01)

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Scoop/Various Artists

July 25, 2006

Scoop

by

Tchaikovsky, J. Strauss Jr., Khachaturian, Grieg, Cugat, and Lanin

 

Starring Woody Allen (also writer and director), Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, and Ian McShane, Scoop is the comedic story of a student journalist (Johansson) visiting London. Joe Strombel (McShane) is dead but can be seen by Scarlet and Joe reveals his “the Tarot Card Killer” scoop of a lifetime and the chase is on. To add to the humor she talks Splendini (Allen), a magician, into helping her. Of course along the way she meets and falls in love with Jackman. The film will open on July 28th as a limited release.

Woody Allen chooses to use a non original score as he did in his previous film Matchpoint (Verdi, Rossini, Donizetti arias sung by Caruso) and something he has also done in the past with films such as Manhattan which was wonderful Gershwin. Some of you will find Swan Lake Ballet Suite, Sabre Dance, and Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 an interesting listen for not only the music itself, but how Allen incorporates them into the different scenes in the film. As Allen explains he chose the music based on “his instincts about what would work in the film.” He is certainly not alone in his choosing of Swan Lake material. Anna Karenina, Center Stage, Dracula (1931), and The Right Stuff, are just a few of the many films this music has been used in. Peer Gynt has been used in such films as M, Affliction, Needful Things, and Rat Race. “Sabre Dance” from Khachaturian, has been used in countless cartoons and the quick pace easily lends itself to many different situations in films especially comedies. Something completely new for me was “Miami Beach Rhumba” by Xavier Cugat a cute well played rhumba with silly but catchy lyrics. The two polkas included by J. Strauss Jr. also fall into the category of good examples of how classical music can be used to underscore scenes in a film. Some of you may find the Lester Lanin dance music right up your alley but this is not my cup of tea, thank you. As many of you know who read my reviews “Some music I just don’t understand” is one of my signatures.

The intrigue of this soundtrack to the seasoned collector is to view the film and see how Woody takes and blends the music into the score. Much if not all of the classical material could easily have been written for the silver screen if there were films back when Grieg and Tchaikovsky did their composing. In fact Kristi Brown has written an absolutely fascinating chapter in Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film called “The Troll Among Us.” It talks about the use of Grieg’s work in films. The book is available thru http://www.ashgate.com and includes many other reasons for using all types of what I call “source music” in movies. An interesting question for me would be to ask Mr. Allen if he had read this article before selecting.

This soundtrack’s major appeal is going to come from the audience that loves the film and wants to follow up with the music. The hardcore collector will take my advice if his collection is lacking in the classical/Lanin/Cugat area. Liner notes by the way are (0). Wish a little information could be included? The sequencing of the music, along with the transfer, is a puzzle to me. No information is given on who mastered the material. “Miami Beach Rhumba” is nestled between “Tritsch-Tratsch Polka” and “Sabre Dance” and is obviously taken from an older mono source. That’s fine but put it at the end of the soundtrack. It’s a fine song as I stated earlier but it has some pops and clicks and I had to turn the volume down slightly to avoid distortion. Where it is located there is an abrupt stop of the track, the next one begins immediately with this high quality recording! “Adios Muchachos” sounds like a live recording with a fair amount of background noise but the other two Lanin recordings seem to be studio ones and the difference in sound quality is quite apparent. Not having any notes makes my deductions a little more difficult, but no matter just program the tracks different and the flow will much better in my opinion. I would do 1-6, 15, 11-14, 7-8, 17-18, 16, and 9. Enjoy the movie and try to hear where Mr. Allen put the material and while your at it enjoy the classical music, it won’t hurt one bit!

 

Sony/BMG has certainly done some of us a tremendous favor by releasing this (2) CD set of past film scores which include several of the classic Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic tracks. What better way to introduce listeners to these fine recordings which were done in the 70’s. Short of the OST, the Gerhardt versions are the next best thing with the added bonus of far superior fidelity. There was just something very special about the hand picked orchestra that Charles assembled. They knew how to play the music because they could feel it and were excited about it! That eerie feeling of “The Forgotten Island” from King Kong, the utter despair of “Norma Desmond” in Sunset Boulevard, and the “Rosebud” theme from Citizen Kane are all performed so well. The romance from “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca will bring a tear to your eye. “Street Scene” from the start of How To Marry A Millionaire would have brought a smile to the face of Alfred Newman. This Gershwin style overture has never sounded better! Korngold’s majestic main title to Kings Row is performed in its splendor as if it were for a king. Do I have to even say anything about Tara’s theme? One of the all time great themes that never won the Oscar, the award being given to The Wizard of Oz in 1939. And this is just the material that Gerhardt and his handpicked orchestra recorded. There are (4) very interesting tracks from Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Herrmann. Both Vertigo’s “Scene d’Amour” and the three track selections from Psycho are played extremely well, putting them into the Gerhardt quality class. The same can also be said of the Laura track from David Raksin. This was recorded about the same time as some of the Gerhardt recordings and has to be put into the same quality caliber. Raksin knows and likely orchestrated and arranged this 6+ minute suite which stands high up on the ladder as one of the greatest themes written for the silver screen. The example that is used of a monothematic theme that works, David’s suite is presented as a main theme, a romantic love theme, and a wonderful waltz. Oh the romance that fills the room from the muted trombone! John Williams performs his own work on Star Wars, E.T., Jaws, and Close Encounters. Impressive, to say the least, is the least is the arrangement of Close Encounters which features some very serious work from the tuba. Williams also performs Korngold’s The Adventures of Robin Hood in a good rousing version of the Oscar winning score. Henry Mancini is featured with his wonderful “Moon River” and likely the best composition he ever wrote that didn’t the Oscar, “The Pink Panther Theme.” Maurice Jarre conducts his Lawrence of Arabia, and Dr. Zhivago scores and Ennio Morricone contributes The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. To round out the (2) CD set we have Dr. No (James Bond theme) conducted by John Barry, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops performing music from Rozsa’s Ben Hur, and Dimitri Tiomkin conducting the Hollywood Bowl Symphony in a good rendition of High Noon. All in all quite a lineup of 50 years of movie music.

With any compilation comes the drawbacks of what to include and exclude. While the RCA/Sony catalog of past recordings is good many cannot be included because they don’t own the rights to everything, nor do they have the space. At 112 minutes there is more than enough to please most. The sequencing of the tracks leaves something to be desired! Going from Dr. No to the Pink Panther is what I would consider a smooth transition. Don’t go from The Pink Panther to Ben-Hur to “Moon River.” Put The Magnificent Seven, The Good The Bad And The Ugly, and High Noon together as a little western section.

The artwork on the front cover would have looked nicer if a little older equipment was used such as a Rollei, Leica, Graflex and perhaps some flashbulbs. The equipment was way too modern for the type of shot! Some basic information about the original recording that the track was taken from, along with a little bit of information about the film/score would be useful to the casual listener. Where did the fine rendition of High Noon come from? While “Street Scene” was used in the How To Marry A Millionare beginning it was actually written for a completely different film called Street Scene in 1931. These are minor points but still distracting to some soundtrack enthusiasts. The remastering however is excellent. Each generation of equipment just seems to get better and better and this is no exception.

The serious hardcore collector likely has most if not all of the tracks available on this release and will have little or no interest. The collector who has little experience with Charles Gerhardt recordings if any should get this (2) CD set in a heartbeat! Your in for quite a surprise. The casual listener who is the target market is really going to enjoy themselves with the selections and versatility Essential Hollywood has to offer.

Golden Scores Rating (****)

1 Star Wars/Main Title (5:47)

2 Gone with the Wind/Selznick International Fanfare (Newman)/Main Title: (3:11)

3 Doctor Zhivago/Prelude & Lara’s Theme (5:18)

4 Laura/Main Theme (5:55)

5 Psycho/Prelude (2:03)

6 Psycho/The Murder (1:00)

7 Psycho/Finale (1:54)

8 Lawrence of Arabia/Overture (Part 2) (4:31)

9 Magnificent Seven/Main Title & Calvera’s Visit (3:59)

10 E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial/Flying Theme (3:44)

11 Adventures of Robin Hood/Robin Hood & His Merry Men (4:31)

12 Jaws/Theme (2:54)

13 Vertigo/Scene d’Amour (6:45)

14 Godfather Part 2/End Title (4:10)

15 (CD 2) 20th Century Fox Fanfare (With Cinemascope Extension)/Street Scene (As (4:31)

16 (CD 2) Casablanca/Main Title/The Immigrants/Morocco/”Sam, I Thought I Told You (8:44)

17 (CD 2) Dr. No/The James Bond Theme (2:58)

18 (CD 2) Good, The Bad and the Ugly/Titles (3:06)

19 (CD 2) Close Encounters of the Third Kind/The Dialogue (3:29)

20 (CD 2) King Kong/The Forgotten Island/Natives/Sacrificial Dance/The Gate of Ko (7:24)

21 (CD 2) High Noon/Theme (5:29)

22 (CD 2) Sunset Boulevard/Main Title/Norma Desmond/The Studio Stroll/The Comebac (7:48)

23 (CD 2) Pink Panther/Theme (2:41)

24 (CD 2) Ben-Hur/Parade of the Charioteers (3:43)

25 (CD 2) Breakfast at Tiffany’s/Moon River (2:44)

26 (CD 2) Citizen Kane/Rosebud/Finale (2:42)

27 (CD 2) Kings Row/Main Title (1:40)

the essential hollywood (sony) – album credits

Ennio Morricone Conductor

David Foil Liner Notes, Project Director, Compilation, Research

Warren Wernick Project Director

Michelle Errante Product Manager

National Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestra

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestra

Riccardo Muti Conductor

Charles Gerhardt Conductor

Maurice Jarre Conductor

Dimitri Tiomkin Conductor

Arthur Fiedler Conductor

Henry Mancini Conductor

Elmer Bernstein Conductor

The London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra

CD# is 82876-77086-2

 

 

If you read my review I hope you will wonder in amazement like I do about the lack of any OST material available for this score. There is one additional interesting piece that you should listen to if at all possible and that is “The Spellbound Concerto” recorded in the 1980’s by Pierce and Jonas (the piece was a premiere) for dual pianos and was performed by the Utah Symphony conducted by Elmer Bernstein. At the time of this writing the piece was still available on a CD called Hollywood Chronicles thru Tower Records http://www.towerrecords.com/product.aspx?pfid=1764415&title=Hollywood+Chronicle%3a+Great+Movie+Classics&artist=Original+Scores. The catalog number is VSD 5351. This is far too important a piece of music to just let slide away into obscurity. As a stand alone piano concerto piece if you would try to compare it to a Beethoven or Tchaikovsky work it would be classified into the student area. But this is Rozsa and its a wonderful work. One of my more lofty goals would be to somehow figure out a way to release all of this material again. The Stanyan recording that I reviewed along with this duo piano version would make for a nice CD. Heh, Rod McKuen is nice enough but I would rather listen to this concerto as a followup as opposed to “A Place In The Sun” and the other material. Hmm? 45+22=67 minutes. Would fit rather nicely I think.

The other recording of note that would be worth having is the Gerhardt/National Philharmonic compilation of Rozsa works. Alas, the Spellbound portion is only 5 minutes but doing a quick google I found several entries to purchase used. One of the many listed is http://www.djangomusic.com/item_music.asp?id=R++++84595&dt=33&cid=&sid=&mediatype= and it was only $4.00. In addition you get excellent recordings of Double Indemnity, Lost Weekend, and many others.

Lady In The Water

by

James Newton Howard

 

Universal provides excellent service to me in terms of getting the soundtracks before they or the movie are released. This is a blessing, as well as a problem in that short of being sent a copy of the movie with the release there is no way I can see the movie until the release date which is a week away. To truly evaluate, seeing the movie with the soundtrack, and then listening to it as a stand alone experience is the best way. Having said that, Lady In The Water, as a stand alone experience is recommended. The last JNH release, Freedomland, was not a favorite of mine. Since the review it has not graced the inside of any of my cd players and likely will not for sometime. Lady in The Water will take its place with all the other Shyamalan/Howard collaborations, this being the 5th. All of them are recommended budget permitting of course. For those of you who are not familiar they are Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, Signs, and The Village. From the press release that came with the CD the story came from one that Shymalan told to his children. The very condensed story is one of an apartment manager who finds a nymph hiding beneath the swimming pool in the complex. The people in the apartment help to send her back in spite of other creatures who have their own ideas! It is a Warner Brothers Picture starring Paul “Sideways” Giamatti and Bryce Dallas Howard. It is written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

Right from the beginning of “Prologue” the eerie suspense begins! I assume that this first track is the introduction of the film. Listen for the chorus and the slow piano buildup starting soft and then louder and more frantic. In “The Party” you will hear the first of several references to Signs, that frantic Herrmann style violin phrase we all enjoy so much! “Charades” too has a definite reference to Signs again although this cool track has its own unique properties as well. “Ripples In The Pool” could have very easily been included on one of these enviromental cd’s designed to calm you down or put you to sleep. “Walkie Talkie” conveys the frantic build it up suspense that Howard can write and convey to the film so well without having to go loud, louder, loudest where you have to turn the volume down.”The Great Eatlon” is another excellent suspense track building up to another cool climax/crescendo. “End Titles” is a fitting climax to an overall good soundtrack from Howard.

In addition to the twelve OST tracks, there are four Dylan compositions. While they are not sung by Bob they are some of his more popular songs and the younger generation will appreciate them I’m sure. My 58 year old ears cannot listen to this type of source material for any length of time. I am not putting the music down it is just not for my ears! The official release of the soundtrack is set for July 18th. Before you and I go and see the movie check out the soundtrack first and then listen for how it is included. You can also listen for what was not included too! Another topic to talk about sometime.

Spellbound/Rozsa

July 14, 2006

 

1945 was a marvelous year for Rozsa. Not only did he achieve the Oscar for this wonderful film he was also nominated for The Lost Weekend, and A Song To Remember. One could say he was on a roll which was to continue for many years to come. The United Artists Production was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman in quite an intriguing tale of amnesia, love, and suspense. The score features one of the very early effective uses of the theremin, performed on this recording by Dr. Samuel Hoffman. In fact Miklos used the theremin in The Lost Weekend also, creating quite a stir from Hitchcock and Selznick. Apparently, as the story goes, David O felt he had some sort of exclusive on the instrument. In the beginning he had no idea what a theremin was thinking it could have been a headache medication! Rozsa, upon receiving a call from the secretary of Selznick, curtly explained that he not only used the theremin in The Lost Weekend, but also the flute, strings and percussion. Strangely, he never worked again for either Selznick or Hitchcock. While the film garnered several nominations that year, The Lost Weekend won the best picture, director, screenplay, and best actor. The best actress went to Joan Crawford for her performance in Mildred Pierce.

This is yet another example of a score that is not available as an OST recording. Of the many recordings available and http://www.soundtrackcollector lists 14 labels, 2 bootlegs, and 17 compilations this Stanyan rerecording of the original soundtrack seems to be the best choice. The Stanyan release comes from the 1958 recording performed by Ray Heindorf and the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra. It was released by Rod McKuen in 1988 and also includes tracks from Joanna, The Borrowers, and Around The World In Eighty Days. Nevertheless, 45 minutes are included and most of it is a faithful reproduction from the film. The theme, if you have never heard it, is absolutely breathtaking. One of the top themes ever created for a film! One might hear the theme and not know what film it came from, but most people have likely heard it before. In fact this was one of the very early soundtracks that had a release onto 78’s. The track “The Dressing Gown”, while using the main theme as part of the sequence, also has some very similiar orchestrated sound and style to The Lost Weekend. Take out the theme and you could have substituted them between films. “The Scherzo” is truly a lovely symphonic version of a nice lively well developed theme with the main melody finally coming in with the brass. The initial theme is repeated again with the flute, woodwinds, with a cool countermelody from the violins. While too short for a true symphonic scherzo it is one nonetheless and performed quite well. “The Burned Hand” features some really good underscore, the solo violin giving us that despair sound from Rozsa that he could write so well. The “Spellbound” track is one that breaks the mold and has a completely different sound from the other tracks. A trombone solo? A muted trumpet? Lush strings? The delicate harp and piano? It sounds a lot more like Paul Weston to me than Rozsa. As you listen to “The Razor” and especially “Ski Run” there are also some hints of his famous The Killers score. “Ski Run” mysteriously disappeared from the final print and some Waxman music from the film Suspicion was substituted. The “Finale” has some great underscore which leads to the main title once again. While this main theme is used quite a little bit it still can’t be considered a monothematic score as there are enough other themes to take it out of that classification.

As stated earlier the final (5) tracks, while pleasant material, just don’t fit. If you are really interested in Joanna and “I’ll Catch The Sun” buy the soundtrack and get all of the material. The same holds true with “Off On The Great Adventure” and there are OST material available for Around The World In 80 Days far superior to Elmer Redwine and The Cinema Soundstage Orchestra. The nice thing about this CD is you can just listen to the first (11) tracks and stop!

 

Steve Hoffman did a nice remastering job on the WB LP for sure. It has a bit of warmth to it. He somehow managed to eliminate some of that harshness you sometime hear in a analog to digital recording. The strings have some nice warmth to them and it is really quite pleasant to listen to. If you ever come across this CD don’t hesitate to purchase it! My (***) rating is only because of my true fondness to OST recordings. This is what we have to enjoy at least for the present.

 

CD# is STZ116-2 on Stanyan

Digitally Mastered by Steve Hoffmann

Ray Heindorf conducts the Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra

Produced by Rod McKuen

 

Track listing

1. MAIN THEME (04:43)

2. THE DRESSING GOWN (04:17)

3. SCHERZO (03:15)

4. LOVE THEME (03:10)

5. THE BURNED HAND (04:40)

6. SPELLBOUND (03:10)

7. THE RAZOR (04:17)

8. CONSTANCE (02:47)

9. THE DREAM (03:00)

10. SKI RUN (02:49)

11. FINALE (03:27)

12. PETER´S THEME (I´LLCATCH THE SUN) (03:21)

From Joanna; Rod McKuen (Arranged and Conducted by Arthur Greenslade)

13. I´M ONLY ME (TWO GIRLS BATHING) (02:25)

From Joanna; Rod McKuen (Arranged and Conducted by Arthur Greenslade)

14. JOANNA IN PARIS (RUN TO ME, FLY TO ME) (01:59)

From Joanna; Rod McKuen (Arranged and Conducted by Arthur Greenslade)

15. OFF ON THE GREAT ADVENTURE (02:46)

From The Borrowers; Rod McKuen (Arranged and Conducted by Billy Byers)

16. ROADSHOW OVERTURE (04:58)

From The World in Eighty Days; Victor Young

Total Time is 55:45

 

 

Before the review of this material proceeds too far one thing needs to be made perfectly clear. The soundtrack review copy that was sent to me from TNT is a promotional one and not available for sale at this time. While there is nothing confirmed at this time, a soundtrack release is in negotiations. Hopefully, it will be resolved and released in a short period of time because the material is quite good. Jeff was formally trained at the Eastman School of Music and you can hear it loud and clear. There is a wonderful air of classical music incorporated into his style and it should be no surprise because the list of concert works Jeff has composed is quite impressive. One of the more intriguing examples of many works is a full orchestra concert piece to the silent film The General with Buster Keaton. Having recently completed a review for Silva of some silent material Carl Davis wrote for Chaplin films, my interest in this particular composition was heightened to say the least and hopefully in the future it too will be released as a CD.

The one minute main theme is truly an attention grabbing melody only a minute in length but very well written against small snippets of upcoming episodes as someone is walking through an older style house. The melody is featured in the form of fiddling and one would think how could this style of music have anything at all to do with eerie Stephen King stories. Well, if you watch trust me it fits like a glove. As the door closes to the house the scene shifts immediately to a skyline of the city with Renshaw (Hurt) driving in his car listening to his i-pod and the specific music to the “Battleground” episode starts (not included on soundtrack).

“Nightmares and Dreamscapes” is a TNT (8) part series of one hour short stories of Stephen King. Included with my review copy of the soundtrack was a first look DVD at the episode titled “Battleground” starring William Hurt as a killer/hit man who meticulously executes the CEO of a toy company and subsequently ends up in an intriguing war against an army soldier set mysteriously sent to him. There is no dialogue in this first installment, which not only heightens the suspense, but certainly allowed for a lot of non stop music. The first showing will be July 12th on TNT and each of the 8 parts will feature a prominent actor or actress. Without giving away anymore of the plot think Twilight Zone. While much of the material could be classified as action, then quiet, then surprise, then action again underscore, the final track “Toy Coda” repeats a quieter moment in the beginning (not included) followed by a short haunting musical box style passage for the ballerina figurine as she turns on her pedestal. Outstanding track!

The good news is that material from all (8) episodes are included in the 79+ minute CD. Each one has its own unique style and property to it making the soundtrack a nice listening experience. “Umney’s Last Case” features (5) tracks of jazz mixed with appropriate underscore for some sort of gumshoe episode. Complete with saxes leading the way for a muted trumpet, a little brass, string harmony, and a touch of piano, “Shootout At Blondies” sounds like it should belong on another CD especially with the lush trumpet solo at the end of the track. This is the jazzy style where the track could have gone on for 15 minutes if the group were performing it live! Want a little Gothic rock style? There is just that in the three tracks for the episode “The Fifth Quarter.” A little bit of chamber music can be found in “I’ll Walk Back” and some cool jazzy organ in “Resurrection.”

Let’s all of us hope that negotiations go well and this soundtrack is released. In the meantime why not check out Jeff’s website and listen to over 250 MP’3s on the site! http://www.jeffbeal.com. Highly recommended if this CD becomes available! Love that main theme! Oh wait I already said that. Well, it bears repeating and while on that particular subject think another listen to it is in order.