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

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

John Debney's score for Idlewild

From Costa Communications


U.S. DVD Release December 5th

(Hollywood, CA) Academy Award nominated composer John Debney features world famous trumpeter Arturo Sandoval on his score for "Idlewild," a ragtime-inspired musical starring Andre Benjamin and Antwan Patton of R&B duo Outkast.

The two artists, known in the musical world as Andre 3000 and Big Boi, play speakeasy performers in the Prohibition-era south that contend with gangsters who have their eyes on the club in which they perform. Brian Barber, who has built a career as a music video director for the Grammy Award winning pair, directs the film. It was released on DVD in the U.S.A. by Universal Studios on December 5.

With "Idlewild," the prolific John Debney once again proves his versatility and talent as he continues to compose for a diverse array of genres. His projects for 2005, encompassing thirteen features, include an elaborate full orchestral score for "Chicken Little" and a collaboration with superstar violinist Joshua Bell on the elegant and heartfelt score for "Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story." His upcoming projects include Christopher Reeves' last project "Everyone's Hero," "Barnyard," "Ant Bully," and "Evan Almighty."

In addition to his film projects, Debney premiered his "Passion of the Christ Symphony," a concert based on his Oscar-nominated score for the blockbuster film, to audiences in Rome and received a pontifical blessing from the Vatican. A later performance at Southern California's Crystal Cathedral raised funds for the American Red Cross' Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Last year, Debney, in his 40s, was honoured with ASCAP's Henry Mancini Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his extraordinary scoring range. His credits include the hit films "Elf," "The Princess Diaries," "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Liar Liar."

For some strange reason, Varese Sarabande cancelled their announced soundtrack release of Debney's music for Idlewild, but Costa Communications graciously sent me an advance copy of the score, and the content would suggest it was certainly worthy enough for release. Running some 55 minutes over 26 tracks, some of the music has a traditional orchestral sound, with piano and strings prominent, particularly in the sadder cues, but Debney also composed some cool jazz, with Sandoval featuring prominently, and his music also weaves in and out of a number of cues that feature Outkast, resulting in a somewhat hybrid of jazz and hip hop, some of which is quite enjoyable actually.

With the soundtrack album cancelled, and the film swiftly disappearing from U.K. cinemas, I guess Debney fans will just have to wait for the U.K. DVD release, whenever that appears, to catch up with this interesting effort, for what, from clips I have seen, appears and equally interesting and inventive movie.


Post a Comment

<< Home