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Thursday, January 25, 2007

News from Costa Communications & CD Review - Van Morrison At The Movies

From Costa Communications




(Los Angeles, CA) Aaron Zigman ,one of Hollywood's most diversified young film composers, scores "The Bridge to Terabithia" for director Gabor Csupo. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media, the same team responsible for the immensely successful "The Chronicles of Narnia," Disney releases the film to theaters nationwide February 16, the same day Hollywood Records releases Zigman's score CD.

Starring Josh Hutcherson and Anna Sophia Robb, the film tells the popular story of fifth grader Jesse Aaron's friendship with rival Leslie Burke. Aaron's hopes of becoming the fastest runner in his class are dashed when Leslie, the new girl in school, outruns everybody, including him. However, Jesse and Leslie soon begin a friendship, and discover a magical kingdom in the forest, where the two of them reign together as king and queen. The film also features Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick.

As a classically trained pianist, Zigman developed a strong musical foundation early in life, allowing him to work on everything from popular music to orchestral concert works. His incredible range has taken him from Industrial to Urban sounds for "Alpha Dog," from a classical score to R&B with John Legend for "Pride," as well as the epic score to "Bridge to Terabithia." He began his musical career as a producer and arranger for notable popular music stars including Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, Carly Simon, Christina Aguilera and Seal. His numerous symphonic pieces include a 35 minute-long tone poem divided into five movements, composed as a tribute to former Israeli Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin; and "Impressions," a suite for a wind ensemble. Zigman premiered his original concert work, "Vis Vitae," at the Third Annual Beverly Hills International Music Festival.

Expanding his repertoire to include film, Zigman began to arrange and orchestrate for features such as "Mulan," "The Birdcage," "Licensed to Kill" and "Pocahontas." His work garnered the attention of director Nick Cassavetes, for whom he completed his first feature score for "John Q.," starring Denzel Washington. The two soon collaborated again on the box-office hit "The Notebook," which the versatile composer scored in the musical style of the 1940s, performing it with vintage instruments and using period-specific recording instruments for an authentic sound.

"Terabithia" comes on the heels of a very productive year for Zigman. Zigman-scored films released in 2006 include projects as diverse as "Flicka," "ATL," "Akeelah and the Bee," "Take the Lead," "Step Up," "Alpha Dog," and "The Virgin of Juarez." Upcoming projects for the busy composer include "10th and Wolf," with Giovanni Ribisi, James Marsden and Dennis Hopper; "The Wendall Baker Story," the directorial debut of Andrew Wilson and Luke Wilson, starring their brother Owen Wilson, Eva Mendes and Eddie Griffin; and "Martian Child" with John Cusack.

Van Morrison At The Movies
EMI 00946 3 84224 2 6 (EU)
19 Tracks

I wouldn't normally cover albums like this here, but as EMI kindly sent me a copy, I thought I'd give it a listen. Of course, I'm familiar with the name Van Morrison, but I get precious little time to listen to songs and their singers, as I spend most all of my listening time reviewing film scores. So about the only songs I knew on the album are "Brown Eyed Girl," which I enjoyed in Sleeping With The Enemy, "Baby Please Don't Go," with its incredible guitar riff; and "Moondance," which I know I've heard somewhere and acually thought it was an old standard, but this, like most of the songs on this album, was in fact written by Morrison himself; and apparently most of them have been picked up for popular and critically acclaimed movies like The Departed, As Good As it Gets, The Outsiders, An American Werewolf in London, Born on the 4th of July, Good Morning Vietnam, An Officer & A Gentleman, Proof of Life,Thelma & Louise, and Bridget Jones' Diary.
I can't say I like every song here, but there's plenty of variation, from carchy, uptempo numbers to romantic ballads and these recordings certainly span the decades from the '60s to the present day. Overall, a very likeable journey through many of the best songs of Van Morrison.


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