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Appaloosa (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Jeff Beal

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Album Review

The Western film genre, once extremely popular, has become an infrequent visitor to multiplexes in the U.S., but actor Ed Harris attempted to bring it back by not only starring in, but also directing and co-writing the screenplay for an adaptation of Robert B. Parker's novel Appaloosa in 2008. Composer Jeff Beal, who worked with Harris on his previous directorial effort, Pollock, attempts with his score to do the same thing musically that Harris was trying in his multiple jobs, to be true to the genre and yet come up with something a little different. Certainly, right from the start of Beal's "Appaloosa Main Title," he has captured the familiar musical sound of a Western, not as expansive as, say, Dimitri Tiomkin's approach, but not as melodramatic as Ennio Morricone, either. The restraint Beal achieves comes in part from his chosen instrumentation, in which he combines a small band of folk instruments — guitar, banjo, dulcimer, etc. — with a small all-strings orchestra of violins, violas, cellos, and basses, as his own lonely trumpet playing comes in and out. He also introduces the occasional exotic flavor, such as in "Allison French," the theme for the character played by Renée Zellweger, which is a sort of Oriental waltz. Unfortunately, Harris couldn't stop at acting, directing, and screenwriting, and he added lyricist and singer to his credits with "You'll Never Leave My Heart." He should keep his day job(s).

Customer Reviews

Tom Petty?

Could have sworn the song the rolled at the beginning of the credits was a Tom Petty song? Am I wrong?

Yes, there was a Tom Petty song in the end credits

It was off of a recent album he did with his old band Mudcrutch. The song is called "Scare Easy" and is well-worth the purchase.

The Westerns are Back!

Another western movie arrives, this time from experienced actor Ed Harris who, along with composer Jeff Beal, comes up with yet another great western as 3:10 to Yuma, Unforgiven and The Searchers. Beal's score is original and timeless as most western themes are. I honestly had no idea that Ed Harris could sing, even that well for a ballad song perfect for the backdrop of the film. Beal's score also incorporates the landscape and the good old fashioned tale of good vs bad in another tremendously movie that has proven once again that Westerns are still very much alive even if there was an almost 20 year absence. Beal's score plus the acting from Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris means is a surely great combination. Well done Jeff Beal and Ed Harris!

Biography

Born: June 20, 1963 in Haywood, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Trumpeter and composer Jeff Beal's music, much of it done for film and television enterprises, encompasses threads of jazz, classical, and new age sounds, and his best compositions feature a logically arranged synthesis of both improvisatory and composed elements. Beal was born June 20, 1963 in Hayward, California, and began studying the trumpet in the third grade, writing his first long-form composition while he was a student in high school, developing the merging of improvisation and classical...
Full Bio
Appaloosa (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Jeff Beal
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