Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 November 20 • Monday

Nelson Riddle's Rough Cut score is the 805th Soundtrack of the Week.

While Nelson Riddle composed the score, he included a lot of Duke Ellington tunes. Presumably something in the movie explains this. It starts with "Fanfare/Sophisticated Lady", which goes as expected, a fanfare and then a brief visit with the classic standard.

After that comes "Something for Gil", a light and breezy Latin lounge number.

Another standard comes next, "Satin Doll", this one also in a Latin arrangement, kind of an inverted cha-cha.

"Disco Shmisko" is a fairly relaxed disco number with fusion guitar wailing.

As long as we're running through genres, we might as well have a bossa nova. "Bossa at the Mansion" is laidback but with a thick sound and good soloing from trumpet, sax and piano.

Muted trumpet and flutes handle the melody on the bouncy "Jack and Gil", perhaps a love theme, while walking upright bass is prominent in "Chief Inspector Cyril Willis", which quotes "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)".

A bit of Mancini-ish underscore that would fit well in a Pink Panther movie describes "Hold It! (Revised)" while "Midnight Caller/Sophisticated Lady/Nice To See You, Inspector" sandwiches the familiar tune with similar cues.

A surprisingly up tempo and energetic "C Jam Blues" follows, after which "He Waits" is a change of pace into a perky, funky, electric guitar and electric bass guitar-driven feel.

Then there are sultry, string-heavy takes on "Mood Indigo" and "I've Got It Bad and That Ain't Good".

"String Quartet" is perhaps source music, "classical" sounding string quartet music that's an impressive imitation.

The first hald of "Deadly Weapon/Tennis Match" is an intriguing and swaying piece for the ensemble while the second half is more like a marching band on a football field kind of thing.

"Sentimental News" plays around a bit with "Sophisticated Lady" while "Osthofen" has a martial snare drum and determined-sounding lines from the horns and "Dutch Treat" is a waltz time exercise for guitar, violin and bass.

We haven't had a tango yet but guess what you hear in "Tango"? It sounds a bit like Jerry Goldsmith's Our Man Flint theme.

The next cue, "Rough Cut", is one of the best, with slinky, jazzy, funky grooves and gestures combined just right.

Then another Ellington, "Prelude to a Kiss", followed by the suspense and tension of "Antwerp Arab/Camouflage".

Some serious mission in progress music comes next in "One More Thing", which has a great drum part and a Mission: Impossible feel. It's immediately reprised, with the addition of some other instruments, in the next track, "Jet Set".

"Amsterdam or Antwerp" and "Amsterdam" then build up to a similar piece but with different orchestrations giving them their own colors.

These action cues culminate in the driving "Final Chase", followed by "Don't Get Around Much Anymore".

"Goodbyes" and "End Credits" revisit "Sophisticated Lady" and "Something for Gil", more or less, before we get into various alternate cues and a track of solo piano soure music.