|El Mar||Papá Morsa||2:36|
|Los Geranios de Toño||Papá Morsa||3:18|
|Los Heraldos Negros||Papá Morsa||3:06|
|Mujer Morena||Papá Morsa||4:37|
|La Balada de John Reed y Los Laureles||Papá Morsa||3:00|
|Scherzzo Para Lídice||Papá Morsa||1:18|
|Scherzzo Para Niky||Papá Morsa||1:00|
|El Lamento de Jeremías||Papá Morsa||2:52|
|Susana San Juan||Papá Morsa||2:42|
|Cerro del Coronel||Papá Morsa||2:26|
|Elegía del Pan Difunto||Papá Morsa||3:00|
Sony Classical, down to a select number of highly marketable releases each year, has rarely been in the reissue business, and it's unclear how the label came to reissue this album, originally released in 1974 as an LP on RCA's venerable Red Seal label. Perhaps it was because film scores are one of classical music's growth segments, and Sony wanted to test the waters for future releases in the genre. The reissue is a successful one in any event. The sound and the performances, with Charles Gerhard conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra, have held up well. The program includes not only music from Captain Blood (1935), but also suites from seven other Errol Flynn films, including a short selection from Hugo Friedhofer's score for The Sun Also Rises, made just two years before Flynn's death in 1959. As such, the album traverses several eras in film music history.
But most of the music comes from the pens of the German immigrant composers who came to Hollywood in the 1930s and set the tone for an entire cultural system: in this case Erich Korngold and Max Steiner, with one short contribution from Franz Waxman as well. The focus on Flynn makes sense, for, as Tony Thomas, Rudy Behlmer, and Clifford McCarty write in the original liner notes, "The great swashbuckler and the era of great romantic movie music set sail on the same tide." The splendid cuts from The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood will sound familiar to anyone who has watched late-night movies on television for any length of time, and they virtually define the sword-and-sea atmosphere of these films. But what's even more interesting is to watch these composers adapt their styles to later developments in Flynn's career. He moved, oddly enough, into the Western, resulting in some unbelievable plots designed to explain the arrival of the supposedly Irish Flynn (he was actually Australian, from Tasmania) in the Old West. But sample Steiner's score for Dodge City (track 5), with its Tchaikovskian spaces and romantic melodies deployed to imagine an open prairie quite different from the ones Aaron Copland was working on at the same time. These scores are enjoyable not only for film buffs, but for anyone who has ever wanted to think a little bit about movie music and its history. Highly enjoyable; well worth the reissue. Kudos to Sony.
Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone define the spaghetti western style of film and music so squarely, the competition is barely considered. It was on the backs of films such as this 1967 smash, starring a pre-Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood, that their well-known reputation rests. The CD is more than you expect. Of course, Morricone has that unique style that he and older, less Italian-influenced Western film composers made synonymous with the action from St. Louis to the Rockies, and the deserts from there to the coast. There are the clip-clop beats similar to the trot of horses, the weary harmonica trill, and the peculiar whistling, that puckered sound of aloneness that still makes one think of solitary battles against the self as much as mounted foes. But Morricone also loves rustic, romantic orchestrations that use his whole orchestra. When a trumpet hits a solo on "Theme From Fistful of Dollars," backed by chilly strings and Spanish-strummed acoustic guitars, it's one of Byronic, beautiful, spacious solitude. Cymbals crash over a piano's bass keys, amidst rumbling trumpets and trombones, and the thump of timpani. Flutes and violins dart as much as thrust and parry, and background voices "Ahhh" in that everyman way, along with whip-cracks. It's all pretty prairie, rolling hills, grasslands and cattle, wagon wheels, and unshaven men with uncertain life spans. It's so mood-setting, you expect to see cactus or bison outside your door instead of an asphalt city. It's instrumental music that's a veritable co-star in a motion picture, not a pack of pre-recorded hit songs all wedged into a film like large square pegs into tiny round holes. This is authentic film scoring, and it is as alluring and inviting as Leone's movie itself. You can see it just to hear this.
Chris LeDoux was born in Mississippi, but his music and lyrics both have plenty of Texas heart -- maybe brought on by the fact that by the time he hit his teens he was already living in Texas, and soon began the normal cowboy path of taking part in rodeos and spending his summers doing ranch work. The recording Chris LeDoux and the Saddle Boogie Band has been called a great cowboy-style album, like most of LeDoux's work. Country fans will find both ballads and upbeat numbers on this offering. Songs such as "Cowboys Like a Little Rock and Roll," "Night Rider's Lament," and "Hooked on an 8 Second Ride" showcase his skill at tapping into the celebrated world of the everyday cowboy that he knows so well and shares even better. All you need to do is tug off your cowboy boots, tip back your hat, get comfortable, and have a nice long listen.
The two-fer, Live in Cologne 1961 + Benny Carter Sextet, showcases two dates, recorded separately. The first features the Cannonball Adderley Quintet (featuring cornetist Nat Adderley) and was captured a day after the group's other 1961 concert album, En Concert Avec Europe1. This is a live show and reveals the Adderley brothers in fine, funky form. The second date, featured on the latter half of this collection, is an in-studio session featuring saxophonist Benny Carter backed by members of Kurt Edelhagen's Orchestra. Recorded at Studio 1 of the West German Broadcasting Corporation, it is also a warm, swinging session.