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Thursday, April 26, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift
Music by Mark McKenzie
Varese Sarabande VSD-6809 (EU)
22 Tracks 44:31 mins

I don't know much about this film. It hasn't reached our shores yet, here in the UK, but apparently it stars Brian Dennehy, James Garner and Little Miss Sunshine's Abigail Breslin.
The score is by the always excellent Mark McKenzie, who really should receive more assignments, as his music is always top notch.
The Ultimate Gift is no exception, a real emotional ride, with some gentle warmth and tenderness and some really passionate, moving, and quite tragic moments making up the majority of tracks on this album. Piano is particularly to the fore, with subtle, but at times heart-rending, string playing.
Apart from the emotional content, which begins with the rather elegiac "Main Title," there is "City Boy in Texas," complete with harmonica and guitars. "Bum's Beach" and "Park Picnic" are both brief, but catchy little movers, and tracks like "Arrival in Ecuador" and "Plane Wreckage" both have suitably ethnic touches, with flutes to the fore, and the latter ends quite threateningly. Menace, suspense and anguish is provided by "The Firing Squad."
Two, actually rather good songs, by Sara Groves and Ed Goggin round of the CD.
If you have a fondness for the music of Mark McKenzie, I am sure you will not be disappointed by his latest offering - would that we could hear more often from this fine composer.


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