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Thursday, April 09, 2009


Il Figlio Di Django
Music by Piero Umiliani
GDM Hillside Series GDM 4124
22 Tracks 47:20 mins

Perhaps the pick of three new Italian Western releases in the fabulous Hillside Series is Piero Umiliani's score for 1967's Il Figlio Di Django (Return of Django), which was directed by Osvaldo Civirani and stars Gabriele Tinti and Guy Madison.
This music was a pleasant surprise to me, for somehow I had not been expecting such a conventional Italian Western score from the composer, but it is in fact written largely in classic genre style.
The disc gets underway with the pacy, drumkit driven title theme, which is OK, but nothing to write home about. However, this is followed by the typically trumpet-lead "Triste Deguello, which only falters for a short harpsichord middle section. "La Sfida" gets off to a galloping start, before some fairly dark and suspenseful doings on take over. A bouncy instrumental of what is to become the song "They Called Him Django" follows in "Verso La Citta" and this light mood continues at the opening of "Libero e Selvaggio," though soon loses its way, only to pick up again and canter to its conclusion. The aforementioned song receives its vocal performance from one J. Balfour in the following track, and joins the catalogue of genre songs that are almost so bad that they are good. No, seriously, I love it, just like the rest of them. Just turn your brain off and enjoy!
After this tuneful interlude comes the brief, dramatic "Tracy Il Pistolero," and then the bouncy instrumental version of the song returns in "Nella Valle." The obligatory source tracks, "Saloon" and "Piano Saloon" bookend the all too brief, but fabulous "Cavalcata" with its busy Al Hirt-like trumpet (think Green Hornet). The melancholy nostalgia, again featuring solo trumpet, of "In Memoria Di Django" comes as a complete change of pace, and is followed by the shady doings of "Missione Segreta," which continue into "Falsa Tranquilita," before the melancholy theme returns again in a version for solo trumpet, only to give way to suspenseful material at its close.
"Attesa e Azione" opens with suspenseful instrumental variations on the song, which become increasingly bolder as the cue continues on electric guitar, which leads us into the galloping "Un Eroe Nel Canyon," with brass playing the song's melody as counterpoint. The nostalgic theme returns on harmonica in the brief "Nostalgia Del Padre," which is followed by another splendid, slightly more laid-back version of "Cavalcata," featuring dueling trumpets.
The score proper, all of it by the way previously unreleased, concludes with a meaty instrumental version of the song, the previously released album version of which, again featuring J. Balfour, concludes the disc as a bonus track.
The accompanying booklet is the usual colourful affair, with stills and artwork from the film, together with cast and crew credits.
If you want a copy, you'd best hurry along to, as just 500 have been pressed.

From Costa Communications:-




(Hollywood, CA) Award-winning composer STEVEN BRAMSON scores the indie-thriller DON MCKAY, directed by Jake Goldberger. The film stars Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue. Bramson created a diverse score that sets the musical tone of the suspenseful love story. The score ranges from restrained, featuring a blend of acoustic and synthetic instruments often used in unconventional ways that highlight the mystery, to pulsating which accentuate the surprises that unfold. DON MCKAY premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival Friday, April 24 at 6:00pm at the BMCC Tribeca PACC. Other screenings: April 26 at 12:30pm at the AMC Village VII 3 and April 29 at 10:00pm at the AMC Village VII 2. DON MCKAY is the story of a high school janitor who leaves his hometown after a tragedy and returns 25 years later to rekindle a romance with his old flame, who is dying of cancer. This homecoming brings the janitor, Don McKay (Thomas Haden Church) more than he bargains.

Steve Bramson’s scoring accomplishments encompass orchestral and electronic work for film, television, concert as well as amusement rides. He scored weekly with a live orchestra over 200 episodes for the dramatic series JAG which ran for ten seasons. That relationship led to episodes of NCIS. Other projects include the critically acclaimed series YOUNG INDIANA JONES, THE NINE and JOURNEYMAN. He is well-versed outside of the realm of drama which is evident by his scores to the animated children’s film SCOOBY DOO ON ZOMBIE ISLAND and Disney’s TIGER CRUISE. Bramson’s diverse credits include, IN ENEMY HANDS and the musical SHIMMY. His classical training led to a commission by legendary trumpeter Jon Lewis to write a trumpet concerto for orchestra. Bramson also created the music for the ride Space Mountain at EuroDisney in Paris which he recorded with a 55-piece orchestra.

Steve Bramson accomplishments have been recognized with an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Music Direction and Composition” for TINY TOON ADVENTURES, two Emmy nominations for his work on JAG and multiple ASCAP awards


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