Kolodochka BOOKLET CD1 o.k

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TT is 53:38

When I first received the download of this May 2017 release I thought to myself oh no not another Hollywood compilation and by an orchestra and conductor that I’d never heard of playing material I  have on other recordings. I almost thought of passing on it and going to the next choice on the list. I decided to give it a listen and now my opinion has changed. It is one of the best CD’s ever done and I’m including some of the Boston Pops material with conductors Fielder and Williams. To the younger generation this is the same John Williams who composed Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., Superman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The selection of material spans a 50 year period of time ranging from Bonanza and The Magnificent Seven to Antman and House of Cards. The CD begins with a nice compilation of Star Wars which incorporates several of the themes from different remake versions. An attractive Irish melody is offered in How to Train Your Dragon which leads into a new composer to compilation material Jeff Beal and his continuing work on the TV series House of Cards. The theme, trumpet led is an erratic theme with percussion, trombones, and other instruments appearing when you least expectit. Not the best in terms of armchair listening I’m sure that followers of the series will enjoy the material. We are treated to two older western standards Magnificent Seven, one of my favorite movies, along with a faster tempo version of Bonanza. Both are well played. It is followed by Jungle Book which offers the three main themes from the film, all nicely arranged and played. My favorite track offers a compilation of three unlikely films that mke no sense being put together but the Vogtland ensemble not only makes it works but I’ve found myself returning to it over and over again turning up the volume so that I get the full effect of the outstanding playing of Batman (the movie), Dances With Wolves, and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Pay close attention to the fine brass work in Dances With Wolves along with the outstanding arrangement. John Barry never sounded better. The same can also be said of Robin Hood. The brass is definitely better in this fine orchestra. Antman offers little in term of melody but offers percussion that is the harmony for the staccato brass. The “Chairman Waltz” from Memoirs of a Geisha is almost a forgotten John Willams film but one listen to the violin solo will make this one of your favorites on this CD. Aladdin offers a compilation of four themes from the film with my favorite being “Arabian Nights.” The CD concludes with the fine score of Silvestri for The Polar Express.

The CD is a multi-channel one so it will give enhanced sound on 5 speaker system surround units. It plays on DVD players as well as older CD players. Well worth having in your collection as well as the first two installments of the on going series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenplay from 1954 novel. This is the first episode in the series. Aired on 9/21/1957.

Cast:

Raymond Burr (Perry Mason)

Barbara Hale (Della Street)

William Hopper (Paul Drake)

Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg)

Willliam Talman (Hamilton Burger)

Whitney Blake (Evelyn Bagby)

Ralph Clanton (Mervyn Aldritch)

Gloria Henry ( Helene Chaney)

Vaughn Taylor (Mr. Boles)

Jane Buchanan (Mrs. Boles)

Dick Rich (Sgt. Holcomb)

Grandon Rhodes (Judge Kippon)

Jack Gargan (Court Clerk)

PLOT

Evelyn Bagby is forced off the road by a hooded man. Having found a gun in her apartment she fired wo shots at the assailant to scare him off. The hooded man is found dead and she is accused of killing him. Two guns, a movie studio, a sleazy motel in Riverside, and a burglary all figure into the plot. The guns are the best part of the plot with mushroomed slugs and trying to figure out which gun was which.

NOTES

Whitney Blake was mother of Meredith Baxter Birney and co-star of TV show “Hazel.” Vaughn Taylor appeared in 8 different Perry Mason series from 1957-1964. There are music cues from Bernard Herrmann taken from the CBS library. The court clerk also doubles as stenographer as well as oath swearing in.

Rating is 6 out of 10. Watchable and I like the gun sequence but there are better.

Federal Fugitives

January 6, 2017

 

The copy of the film that I had was poor quality with an excess amount
of contrast and vertical lines off and on throughout the film. I
purchased it because I like the genre, Neil Hamilton, and have a look
at Doris Day in 1941. I didn’t even recognize her! The basic plot was
Federal Agent James Madison (Neil Hamilton) trying to arrest Otto
Libermann aka Haskel(Victor Varconi) for a plane crash he was
responsible for. Chuck (Lyle Littel is just the right amount of comedic
relief for the picture.Music doesn’t fit some of the scenes which leads
me to believe that they tried to use source tracks without success. If
I had a copy of better quality I might raise my rating from 3-5.
Otherwise pass and watch some better ‘B’ movies.

Gang Bullets

January 5, 2017

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When the theaters were owned by the major studios in the 30’s and 40’s the price of a ticket got you a feature film, cartoon, news reel, and what is now called a ‘B’ movie. “Gang Bullets” is a ‘B’ film from Monogram, a top poverty studio of it’s day, and if this is judged against other ‘B’ movies it would fall into the top 20%. Starring ‘B’ actors Anne Nagel (a rare top billing for her), Robert Kent, and Charles Towbridge, the 63 minute film is a crime/gangster who knows the law all too well. The DA is trying to put him behind bars but seems hindered in his efforts until?

Directed by Lambert Hillyer under the watchful eye of Scott Dunplap the film moves along keeping your interest. Music director is Abe Meyer, who was the king in finding source material, and it worked in this film.

Since this film went into public domain there are less than copies available, some shortened. This includes the free internet archive whose copy is inferior to the one I purchased from Oldies.com which was around $5.00 including shipping. My copy is clearer with less background noise. When I finish 100 of these I’ll rank them. Right now this one is somewhere around #20. Will keep you posted.

Cartoon Classics

January 2, 2017

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If you think about the Allentown Band, the oldest US civilian band, you should think about what they are famous for which is band music from Sousa, Anderson, and others. There latest offering is called “Cartoon Classics,” something that seems to be way off base for them but further examination reveals some very fine arranging of classical music for band. The tunes selected might very well be ones that you heard in Fantasia, Merry Melodies,Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny and his gang.  You can relive the “Bunny of Seville,” “Rhapsody Rabbit,” the Hippopotamuses dancing a ballet, and others.
What I was really impressed with were the arrangements. As I sat and listened the woodwinds began to sound like strings! The brass section semmed to integrte itself in some parts so you couldn’t even hear them. The band was a well oiled group and there were no flashy solos to detract from this kind of music. The orchestra played as a team and no one missed a beat.
Relive your childhood and give this CD a spin or download it to yourmp3 player and just enjoy what you hear.

 

 

Too Late Blues

December 26, 2016

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Before listening to a new release I settle back with a cup of tea or coffee and read the liner notes. To my surprise I saw the name Milt Bernhart and being a trombone player I immediately knew who it was and couldn’t wait to hear him. I wasn’t disappointed as there were several tracks where he was featured. The combo of Red Mitchell, Benny Carter, Jimmy Rowles, Uan Rasey, Shelley Manne, Larry Bunker, Tommy Tedesco, and Milt Bernhart take a backseat to no one on the west coast. They play the laid back cool jazz that the west coast was famous for.

The film stars Bobby Darin as a pianist who is stuck in an ideal mode until he falls in love with Stella Stevens. The film was directed and produced by John Cassavetes and he also co-wrote the screenplay. The film came and disappeared quickly with barely a ripple in the lake.

Raksin’s song, “A Song After Sundown,” his second best effort after “Laura,” is first featured in a lush arrangement with singing strings. The jazz combo gets plenty of opportunity to play it in a variety of different rhythms and styles including a vocalise from Jess Polanski, Stella Stevens character in the film.

The material comes from one track mono as well as 3 track stereo material. Raksin wrote all of the music including all source material. You’ll here all different styles of material from Raksin including rhumbas, honky tonk, a somewhat classical version on the piano, blues, and light jazz. In a word sweet.

Seal One Part 1 – Sax Raises Its Ugly Head
Theme from Too Late Blues (A Song After Sundown)
The Rim Shot Heard ’Round the World
Mother Time (Juke Box)
Something Like Noodles/Something Like Bulio/
Something Like That
Heel and Toe – Get Wildroot Hair Oil, Charlie
Bass Canard (short version)

Look Inward, Angel
Danzon
A Song After Sundown
Sambalero
Recording Studio Part 2 – A Song After Sundown
Wither Thou, Ghost!
Blues for Tomorrow
Ulysses in Swanktown
Like Lasagna
Ghost Blows Test
Benny Splits While Jimmy Rowles
Ciudad de Mexico
Wife’s Other John
Finale – The Rim Shot Heard ’Round the World
Bonus tracks
Paramount Seal and Tie-In (alternate version)
Danzon
Ciudad de Mexico
Some Other Time
Benny Splits While Jimmy Rowles (short version)
Look Inward, Angel (combo)
Look Inward, Angel (combo – long version)
The Rim Shot Heard ’Round the World (alternate)
Sambalero
Bass Canard (long version)
Wife’s Other John (extended version)

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I first became familiar with Christopher Wong in 2007 with his score to the film Journey from the Fall, which featured a hauntingly beautiful melody. It is still available as a download directly from the Movie Score Media website as well as his score from The Rebel.

The first track “The Green Grass,” was a bit of a surprise for me as it started off with an acoustic guitar, all harmony before the violin offered the attractive melody along with a continuing of the melody. This melody will appear throughout the score and it will surprise you as it occurs briefly in “Past The Forbidden Trees” and more prominent in “Fishing, Administration and Envy” “The Fable” introduces a new  theme which is offered on the bassoon. This theme continues more prominently on “Grumpy Teacher” and reminds me of the grandfather theme from Peter and the Wolf. The final selection “Thang Cuoi” are the lyrics to the main theme sung in Vietnamese by a charming voice which puts icing on this soundtrack.

If you’re looking for a soundtrack that is laid back and filled with melodies this is one for you. Wong has written a score that has nothing brash or distorted about it. There is no brass only woodwinds, strings and appropriate oriental instruments. There is very little if any pentatone style.

Wong is a composer to be explored if you’ve not yet had the opportunity. Recommended.  

TRACK LISTING

1 The Green Grass 2:13
2 Guilty Rain 1:22
3 Past The Forbidden Tree 2:30
4 The Fable 2:30
5 Grumpy Teacher 2:12
6 Dear Brother 2:12
7 Fishing, Administration and Envy 3:53
8 Flooded 2:19
9 Running Away 1:55
10 Moon Moves 2:21
11 The Days Ahead 3:16
12 The Princess and the Prince 1:53
13 Walking Again 1:15
14 Remembering Dad 1:44
15 The Matter of Loving You 2:53
16 Thang Cuoi 5:09