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Friday, October 29, 2010


Dunston Checks In
Music by Miles Goodman
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1147 (US)
13 Tracks 57:00 mins

La-La Land Records continue their tribute to the late Miles Goodman with their release of his score for 1996 family comedy Dunston Checks In. Goodman's tragically short career in film scoring saw him perhaps somewhat typecast in the comedy genre, which is why I am not all that familiar with his work, as comedy is not really my bag, but I welcome the chance to discover his music. I enjoyed the label's previous release of his score to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Dunston provides plenty of entertainment too, and is bursting with thematic material, which you know by now I like.
The film concerns an orangutan who happens to be a jewel thief - certainly an unusual premise, and the exotic creature, though not scored with geographically correct sounds, receives sparkling accompaniment of a South American-styled nature, filled with samba and tango rhythms - all highly entertaining. And, needless to say, the comical antics that ensue are expertly caught by the composer as well. What I like too about this album is that it only has 13 tracks, but runs for nearly an hour, giving the music plenty of opportunity for development within each cue. Often comedy scores consist of quite brief offerings, which promise but fail to deliver away from the action up there on the screen.
Accompanying the disc is the usual high quality booklet, with detailed notes and the invaluable cue-by-cue guide, courtesy of Daniel Schweiger, lavishly illustrated with full colour stills from the film. You can hear samples of the score on the label's website and, as the album is limited to just 1200 units, you'd best hurry along to if you want a copy.


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