It has taken eight years and over 130 CDs but FSM finally releases a score by the great Ennio Morricone: Guns for San Sebastian (1968), commonly known as a western but more accurately a historical adventure set in Mexico circa 1750. The film stars Anthony Quinn as an outlaw who is mistaken for a priest and protects a humble village against a violent tribe of Indians; Charles Bronson is the antagonist and Anjanette Comer the love interest. Filmed in Mexico, the international production is a sunburnt, action-packed look at a violent time in colonial Latin American history. The late 1960s were an especially fertile period for Ennio Morricone, whose prolific genius has enhanced hundreds of films for over 40 years. By 1968 Morricone had already scored the groundbreaking Dollars trilogy for Sergio Leone—establishing the revolutionary style for the "spaghetti" westerns—and Guns for San Sebastian preceded their western masterpiece, Once Upon a Time in the West.
The original score to Alien: Covenant was written by Australian composer Jed Kurzel (The Babadook, Macbeth). Inspired by elements of the original Alien score, Kurzel’s work invokes feelings of isolation and abject horror in the face of an unavoidable mounting catastrophe.
Before he went on to direct the smash-hit films La La Land and Whiplash, Damien Chazelle began his career with Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench. A jazz musical film written and directed by Chazelle while he attended Harvard, Guy and Madeline tells the story of a young couple, an up-and-coming trumpeter and an aimless introvert, whose relationship falls apart as the glow of their new love fades. Heartbreak, hope and regret follow as the two try to find meaning in their new lives apart from one another. Chazelle was steadfast that a film so focused on the world of jazz and tap would need an excellent score. Luckily fellow Harvard student Justin Hurwitz was recruited to the challenge of composing Guy and Madeline, which he flourished at. Hurwitz meshes the classic big band sound of early 20th century jazz sensibilities with smaller progressive ensemble pieces and lyrics written by Chazelle to delightful results. Now available for the first time, Guy and Madeline shows the early genesis of a Hollywood partnership that would be responsible for multiple modern classics.
The Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer returns to his jazz-renaissance roots with a set steeped in the glossy hues and tones of New York City at night. Blanchard’s score for the soundtrack of Robert De Niro’s new film captures a late-life crisis with jaunty blues, brooding balladry and svelte modern jazz. The mood-setting themes have strong melodies and rhythmic edge, and with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane stretching out and on-form pianist Kenny Barron leading a classy rhythm section, the jazz is for real. Blanchard pares his playing of excess, and plays beautifully.
Jack White and Third Man Records have detailed their soundtracks for American Epic, a documentary co-produced by the rocker that focuses on music of the 1920s, the "Big Bang" of popular music. Four days before American Epic premieres on PBS on May 16th, a pair of soundtracks for the film, American Epic: The Soundtrack and American Epic: The Collection will be released physically and digitally on May 12th. The Soundtrack boasts a 15-song anthology from the documentary, featuring "restored" songs from Memphis Jug Band, The Carter Family, Charley Patton and more. The Collection packs 100 songs from the era onto a five-disc set, with each track "restored to unprecedented levels of sonic fidelity."