Soundtracks are a lot more than movie music...
...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre. So, in an effort to do my part, each week
I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting
a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category. Beyond my long experience as a
listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the Chicago
Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations. You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll
focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks. In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard
soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
A recommendation to coincide with my latest Classics DVD Roundup...
Over 40 years after he composed the haunting, fragile main theme for A
Patch Of Blue, Jerry Goldsmith's gentle piano based score remains one of
his best. Though we lost this film music titan, his vast catalogue remains.
This one, from the 1965 Sidney Poitier-Elizabeth Hartmen-Shelley Winters
film, the story of a tentative romance between a blind girl and a black man,
destroyed by the girl's shrewish mother (Winters in her second Oscar winning
performance), is one of Goldsmith's best.
The CD, long coveted by film music fanatics like myself, quickly went out of
print and is an expensive proposition. But the main title alone - clocking in
at just over two minutes - contains the essence of Goldsmith's score and is
available on other compilations. This music has been utilized many times
over (listen carefully, and there it is providing the background on Turner's
full length bio on Joan Crawford, for example) and it's not surprising - it's a
genuine heartbreaker. The rest of the soundtrack gives us variations on this
gentle main theme, some source music (some rather passable jazz) and a
nice recap in the last cue.
Don't forget to check out previous soundtrack recommendations by visiting
Next Recommendation: TBA
The CD soundtrack cover and the late
maestro who composed it, Jerry