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Thursday, December 21, 2006

CD REVIEW - Il Soldato di Ventura & News from Costa Communications

Il Soldato di Ventura
Music by Guido & Maurizio De Angelis
Digitmovies CDDM070 (Italy)
21 Tracks 51:35 mins

Digitmovies continues its exploration of the music from films starring the popular Terence Hill and Bud Spencer with the premiere release of the complete stereo soundtrack for the 1976 MiddleAges-set Bud Spencer comedy Soldier of Fortune, which sees the bearded strongman as just that, offering his services firstly to the French army laying siege to a Spanish castle, but then switching his allegiances to help the underdogs win the day.
The music is by the De Angelis brothers and is in their usual light melodic style, dominated by a catchy main theme, first sung over the titles by a bass baritone (perfectly representing Spencer) and Nora Orlandi's male choir. Much of the tracks that follow consist of variations on this theme, which can be a bit wearing at times, especially in the inventive, but lengthy "Suite per Ettoire." You cannot help liking the theme, but I can also see how some may well find it irritating after a while. In its instrumental incarnations, sometimes it is played more laid-back and sometimes straight, often voiced by bassoon and flutes. At others, the choir joins in.
Apart from the theme, there are some good, brassy fanfares, as in the two "Fanfare per Ettore" cues, a couple of court music tracks, the first, a flute variation of the first fanfare, the second, a guitar-driven, flute-lead dance, some eerie suspense and the occasional appearance of church organ, providing a religious feel.
Among the three bonus tracks that close the disc are both sides of the original single, made available at the time of the film's release, featuring the main theme in both vocal and instrumental versions.
Accompanying the disc is the usual colourful booklet, with stills and artwork from the film, plus a brief guide to both film and music by Claudio Fuiano and Luca Di Silverio.
If you like the feelgood music of the De Angelis brothers, you'll certainly want to add this one to your collection.

From Costa Communications


Second Non-Fiction Film to Ever Open Prestigious Film Fest

(Los Angeles, CA) Award winning composer Jeff Danna scores Chicago 10, the documentary that will open this year's Sundance Film Festival January 18. Directed by Brett Morgen, the film takes a groundbreaking approach to documentary filmmaking by combining live-action footage with animation to recreate the trials of the anti-war protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The animated segments, which illustrate the events of the trial itself, include trial transcripts read by Hank Azaria, Nick Nolte and Mark Ruffalo. Chicago 10 is only the second non-fiction film in history chosen to open the prestigious festival in Park City, UT.

The animated documentary, heralded as possibly the next step in animated films, tells the story of the infamous 1969 trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1968, eight student protest leaders and counter-culture figures were charged with conspiracy to incite violence at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Originally, the group was comprised of eight defendants including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Black Panther Party activist Bobby Seale. It took two years and a series of appeals for the seven defendants to finally be found not guilty of the charges.

Jeff Danna, just honored with the SOCAN International Film Music award for his work on the #1 Sony Pictures release, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, has demonstrated versatility and adeptness as a composer. For example, in the epic film The Gospel of John, Danna painstakingly researched ancient instruments to create an authentic score and incorporated a full orchestra and a choir for the music. For the film The Kid Stays in the Picture, a look at legendary Paramount producer Robert Evans, Danna researched music of various time periods to create a score that would incorporate the eras of Robert Evan's personal journey. Other Danna credits include his acclaimed score to the Miramax Othello adaptation O, The Grey Zone, Green Dragon, and Roger Spottiswoode's The Yeltsin Project.

In addition to his busy scoring schedule, Danna enjoys a career as a recording artist. His collaborative orchestral Celtic albums with brother Mychael reached worldwide success and placed in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. Jeff Danna has received numerous BMI and SOCAN Awards for scoring excellence.

His upcoming projects include Closing the Ring, a romantic drama starring Shirley MacLaine, Christopher Plummer, and Mischa Barton, and Nimrod Nation, an eight-part documentary series about a Michigan town's obsession with high school basketball, also directed by Brett Morgen.


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