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

Sunday, October 08, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia
Music by Mark Isham
Silva Screen SILCD1221 (U.K.)
15 Tracks 48:09 mins

Film Noir is alive and well in the shape of Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, which is based on James Ellroy's 1940s-set novel, concerning the investigation into the notorious murder of a Hollywood starlet.
De Palma was apparently looking for a "mournful trumpet player" to provide the key element in his score and composer and trumpet player Mark Isham certainly fits the bill. Isham has developed into one of the most versatile and dependable of Hollywood's current composers, in recent years, writing great music for the likes of Eight Below and Miracle, and he knew just what this film required. It is indeed his mournful trumpet performances that lead the way in this score, which is by necessity mysterious and suspenseful, but which has its share of seductive, smoky, romance along the way, witness "Madeline" and "Red Arrow Inn," both of which reach passionate heights; as well as some powerful action moments, culminating in "Death at the Olympic," before his more optimistic trumpet closes events.
Performed by a 100-piece orchestra, and recorded at London's famous Abbey Road Studios, Isham's music will obviously be compared to the likes of Chinatown and L.A. Confidential, but is a fine effort in its own right.


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