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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CD REVIEW - All'Ultimo Sangue + News from Costa Communcations

All'Ultimo Sangue
Music by Nico Fidenco
GDM 4102
36 Tracks 64:03 mins

The first of three splendid new releases in their Hillside Series, of music by Nico Fidenco for Italian movies of the '60s is for the western All'Ultimo Sangue, which starred Craig Hill and dates from 1968.
Presentation of the score could not be better as, not only are we treated to the original album tracks in very good mono sound, but also six alternate tracks, again in mono, all of these presumably specially recorded for album release, plus the film score proper in stereo.
As was the case at the time, themes were often rearranged and extended for a better listening experience on record, and so often when you hear one against the other, the album tracks win out, and that is the case here, with the mono tracks being largely more enjoyable than the stereo cues. Mind you, these tracks don't get off to the best of starts, with the opening "La Miniera" not being the most attractive, a menacing piece, with propulsive electric guitar. This is followed by "Attento Cliv," which is a genteel, flute-lead theme, and sounds totally out of place in a western. Track three reprises the menacing music, but thankfully things look up from there, with "Cordero" being a catchy Mexican dance.
The score's main theme is very memorable and gets its first and best workout in the next track "Chaleco," where it is played leisurely, with recorder, choir (I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni) and trumpet. The following "Chaleco Marcetta" reprises the theme in a whistled marching version, and then "Chaleco Triste" presents the theme in pastoral mode with flute, guitar, recorder, and vocals taking turns with the melody. The final album version of the theme is "Chaleco Galoppata," which as the title suggests, is a fine, if all too brief, galloping rendition.
The alternate mono tracks present different arrangements of the album themes, some excellent in their own right, like the alternate "Chaleco Galoppata," featuring choir.
The stereo score tracks of course present their own versions of the main themes, but they are mostly much shorter than the album cues, with the longest track just under three minutes in length. So, whilst it's great to have the score proper available for the first time, it is the album tracks I will most likely return to more often.
Accompanying the disc is a colourful 8-page booklet, featuring stills and original artwork from the film. Go to to order your copy, and to browse other titles.

"Meera Kahan" Devotional Songs of Meera Bai Come to Life with Music
Release June 12

(Hollywood, CA) Kosmic Music announces the release of "Meera Kahan," a CD combining the lyrics of legendary Indian poet Meera Bai with the music of Indian composer Ajay-Atul. Ajay-Atul uses a chorus, woodwinds, percussion and traditional Indian instruments including the veena and the tabla to bring Meera Bai's passionate and devotional poetry to life. Kosmic Music will release "Meera Kahan" on June 12.
Meera Bai was born in 1498 in Rajahstan. Her incredible devotion to Krishna affected all parts of her life, including her marriage; she refused to honor her husband because she believed she was already married to Krishna himself. Although no one knows exactly how many "bhajans," or prayerful songs, she composed, historians believe the number lies somewhere between 200 and 1300. The seven tracks on "Meera Kahan" tell a small piece of Meera Bai's story and her devotion to Krishna.
Ajay-Atul is an Indian composer whose credit list includes scores for "Shock," "Viruddh. . . Family Comes First," "Gayab" and "Savarkhed: Ek Gaav." In addition, his music was featured on the soundtrack for "Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!" For "Meera Kahan," he utilized traditional Indian instruments and arrangements to complement a choir singing Meera Bai's works.
Kosmic Music U.S., Inc. recently launched in Los Angeles. The label, originally rooted in India, seeks to bring together talented writers, composers and musicians from around the globe. Its catalog includes wide-ranging releases spanning World Music, Health & Healing, Meditation & Relaxation and Soundtracks. A spin-off label, Kosmica, devoted to Electronica, releases its first CD in May. Kosmic Music is distributed nationally by Allegro.
Kosmic's other current releases include "Dhyana Mantra," a collection of Sanskrit chants, and "Akhand," a collection of Vedic chants, both released April 10. Upcoming releases include "Siddhi States," an electronic album, also due out May 8.
Kosmic Music U.S., Inc is a leader in its genre. With offices in Los Angeles, Kosmic Music fuses Eastern and Western styles of music representing the best of World, Film, Healing and Meditation music. Kosmic Music is distributed in North America through Allegro.


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