Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 July 17 • Monday

Michael Kamen's score for Company Business is the 787th Soundtrack of the Week.

The first two tracks are quite long, about 11 minutes for the first and about 15 minutes for the second.

“Journey to Alexanderplatz” starts with a plucked European instrument (balalaika?) before the orchestra swoops in with a wonderful international intrigue theme, melodic and colorful. This yields to a more driving and urgent theme of tension and action, sustained until the end, which gradually slows and stops, punctuated by some unsettling pizzicato.

Gently swirling piano figures with restrained string accompaniment begin “Faisal’s Escape”. This was one is really like a suite of cues, with lots of spaces, changing textures and alternating orchestral and solo instrument voices, with woodwinds especially featured.

Romantic violin or viola starts off “Natasha”, which is also a somewhat perkier version of the first cue’s urgent suspense theme mixed with what sounds like romantic intrigue.

Then we get some relaxed, late-night jazz for the “Cafe Jatte”, with absolutely fantastic tenor saxophone and an intro by whatever European plucked instrument we heard before. About halfway through, though, it switches to tense dramatic underscore.

Something’s up at the “Eiffel Tower” in thr next cue, which is almost Bond-like in its tremendously effective use of the orchestra to suggest action and feeling, mostly of the dangerous kind.

The great tenor player returns for “The Island”, a light and breezy number that fuses jazz with European rhythms and playful string arrangements.

The next several cues were more or less covered in the long opening tracks or other cues. There’s some nice violin playing in “Grigori” and “Sam & Grushenko Meet Natasha” and some beautiful zither- or harp- or zither-like lined in “Natasha Is Followed”.

The other piece of note is a lovely bit of tropical island music, used as source music for whatever island location is in “The Island”.