Set for release in theaters on 12 – 2 – 11 in the USA Shame directed by Steve McQueen who also co-wrote the screenplay stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan and deals with sexual obsession/addiction. The film has already garnered 13 nominations in Europe with four wins in the Venice Film Festival.


The score, a compilation of material that leaves no stone unturned in terms of variety, offers four tracks of Glenn Gould playing Bach; Carey Mulligan singing the slowest version I’ve ever heard of New York, New York; a 1952 recording of Chet Baker singing “Let’s Get Lost;” John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner playing their classic recording of “My Favorite Things,” from 1961; Howlin Wolf and “You Can’t Be Beat; Blondie’s “Rapture,” and others. There is 20 minutes of original material on three tracks from Harry Escott.


“Brandon,” an original track from Escott begins with the steady pulsating sound of a clock before lower register strings play a series of long minor key chords. The string section enters and offers a higher register series of chords all performed with the clock sound continuing. There is a pause in the strings but the clock continues until it picks up again playing the same chords. There is another pause and the lower register strings start up again for the third time this time with not only the clock but a bit of synthesizer percussion. The track reaches a forte with the strings and it ends on a quiet note without the clock percussion. This track offers no melody but does give you harmony which creates the mood the film required. “Unraveling” offers very similar material to track one with the cellos and basses along with the clock and a swirling percussion like noise. The violins toward the end of the track offer an upper register religious feeling still no melody but a bit more complex with the harmonic chords. The “End Credits” offer the same chords as “Unraveling” and “Brandon” but it begins on a solo piano without the clock. The chords are complemented by another line on the piano somewhat uplifting which ends the score. Minimal is the best word to describe what Escott had to offer. Having not seen the film I have no idea how his material fit into the film.


A real treat for jazz fans is the 1961 recording on Atlantic Records (SD – 1361) of Coltrane playing the soprano sax in two very long extended solos ably assisted my McCoy Tyner on piano. The stereo recording leaves a bit to be desired as these were early stereo days and the piano is only on the left channel and the sax on the right. No matter, the 13 minutes goes by way too quick. Another treat for jazz fans is a 1952 recording from Chet Baker who plays trumpet and sings one of his standards “Let’s Get Lost. This is a recording that made the west coast cool jazz so famous. Jazz of another sort are the four Bach pieces performed by Glenn Gould a master interpreter of Johann. For those who are not familiar with Glenn the sound you hear in the background is his humming the melody!


While this soundtrack is a little short on original material you are certainly compensated with a wide range of source material making it a pleasant listen if your collection doesn’t include Trane, Gould, Baker, and the other groups. Good job on the re-master and the original soundtrack material. The soundtrack will be released in digital and CD on December 6th.


Track Listing:


01 Harry Escott – Brandon (8:26)
02 Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations ; BWV 988 – Aria (3:02)
03 Tom Tom Club – Genius Of Love (3:25)
04 Blondie – Rapture (5:32)
05 Chic – I Want Your Love (6:55)
06 John Coltrane – My Favorite Things (13:40)
07 Carey Mulligan – New York New York “Theme” (6:56)
08 Chet Baker – Let’s Get Lost (3:42)
09 Glenn Gould – Prelude No. 10 in E Minor, BWV 855 (2:50)
10 Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations – Var. 15 Canone Alla Quinta (5:01)
11 Harry Escott – Unravelling (9:35)
12 Howlin’ Wolf – You Can’t Be Beat (3:06)
13 Mark Louque – The Problem (5:14)
14 Glenn Gould – Prelude & Fugue No. 16 in G Minor, BWV 885 – Praeludium (3:10)
15 Harry Escott – End Credits Film (1:45)