Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Monday, November 21, 2005


The Dukes of Hazzard
Music by Nathan Barr
Promo (U.S.A.)
17 Tracks 35:08 mins.

Unfortunately, there is no commercial CD release of Nathan Barr's score for Warner Bros.' recent film version of the popular '80s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, which is a shame as, on the strength of this promo, it sure is an enjoyable romp in the country-rock vein, wonderfully played by the composer and a select bunch of musicians, including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
I think the publicity best sums it up: "Barr's score inflects the free-wheeling good times that come with car chases, short-shorts wearing Southernbelles and seeing right prevail over wrong in Hazzard County." The composer himself describes it as "Allman Brothers meets AC/DC meets ZZ Top." Laid-back fiddle and guitars depict the country cousins and their kin and a menacing harmonica figure describes Boss Hogg, whilst Barr's chase music is fast-flowing and infectious and we are treated to two more examples of that in the two bonus tracks of chase music not used in the film.
For those of you not familiar with the composer, he is a gifted musician who began studying at age four, and has studied and performed all over the world. After studying an eclectic array of strings and percussion instruments in Japan and experiencing operas and orchestras in Bali and China, Barr toured Europe with the Julliard Cello Ensemble, and after graduating college, joined the industrial band V.A.S.T., playing guitar and electric cello. Looking to explore a career in film music, he moved to Los Angeles in 1996, where he met Academy-Award winning composer Hans Zimmer, who mentored him for several months before he landed his first feature. Barr has since scored dozens of films including From Dusk Til Dawn 3 and Cabin Fever, as well as several TV series. He resides outside Los Angeles with his wife, recording artist Lisbeth Scott, well-known as the soloist for films including The Passion of the Christ, Shrek and Shrek 2.

Cul-De-Sac/Knife in the Water
Music by Krzystof Komeda
Harkit Records HRKCD8137 (U.K.)
16 Tracks 34:53 mins.

One of three CDs recently released by Harkit Records of scores by the late Krzystof Komeda, a composer best known for his association with director Roman Polanski. Harkit previously released an earlier version of Cul-De-Sac, but a jazz vocalese version, sung by Ewa Bem and Walk Away, of Komeda's main theme has here been added. This theme, a jazz-waltz, first heard in a somewhat offbeat arrangement and subsequently reprised throughout the eight featured tracks, is at its best in the popped-up version heard in Track 7. A secondary, sax-lead jazz mover also features and there are a couple of nice radio source tracks to enjoy. A score very much of the '60s.
The other eight tracks on the album are taken from the composer's first collaboration with Polanski on 1962's Knife in the Water and are really more for hardcore jazz fans than soundtrack collectors. Performed by a small jazz combo, sax dominates throughout and there is very little thematically to latch on to.
An excellent and informative booklet accompanies the CD, with notes in English and Polish.

Varese Sarabande CD-Club News

As promised, here are the four new Club releases, as announced by Colosseum of Germany:-

Broadcast News (1987) by Bill Conti Cat.No. CD VCL 1105 1042 - premiere release.
The Scalphunters (1968) by Elmer Bernstein Cat. No. CD VCL 1105 1043 - featuring two bonus demos of songs written for but not used in the film.
The Left Hand of God (1955) by Victor Young Cat. No. CD VCL 1105 1044 - 50th anniversary premiere release.
Top Secret! (1984) by Maurice Jarre Cat. No. CD VCL 1105 1045 - CD reissue of the popular LP release.


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3:46 AM  

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