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

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Music by Gast Waltzing
MovieScore Media MMS09002
16 Tracks 42:47 mins

Surprisingly perhaps, this latest outing for action star Jean-Claude van Damme, is be hailed in some corners as the best film he has made for years. Also surprisingly, the man actually plays himself, hence the title.
The score is provided by Luxemburg's most famous film composer (the only one I have heard of, in any case) Gast Waltzing, whose score for George and the Dragon was also released by MovieScore Media and, like that enjoyable symphonic work, this is also a fine score, though very different; this time written in great late '60s/early '70s retro style, and very reminiscent of Lalo Schifrin at his peak, with hints of David Shire's "Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" and Elmer Bernstein's "McQ" (to name just two) thrown in.
The album gets off in fine swinging style with the brassy jazz of the "JVCD Theme," and continues with the menace of "Get Him" with its timpani-lead opening. "Family Card" is subdued and suspenseful; with the main theme returning in "Eh, Monsieur Van Damme," which again features some menacing timpani at its conclusion. A fabulous full-blown version of the theme appears in "JCVD Theme II," which is followed by the easy-going "State of Siege." Menacing percussion and brass feature in "Palindrome;" with the expectant "Negotiator" following; leading to some violent action in "Hoodheaded Fight/Gunshot." "Naked Parliament" is another easy-goer, with much tension following in "Hey Man!" "Discovered" is something of an oddity, an unaccompanied, expressive trumpet solo, which is followed by more tension in "Let's Go For It!"
There's a return to the menacing material of "Get Him" in "Premiere Liberation," followed by the largely suspenseful "Menace and Execution," which does however erupt with brassy cacophony at one point. The album closes with another straightforward rendition of the "JVCD Theme."
So, if you're in the mood for some nostalgia, and are a fan of the jazzy film music of Lalo Schifrin and his contemporaries from the '60s and '70s, you should check out this album, available on CD from the usual sources and for download from iTunes. Visit for more info and samples.


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