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David Holmes

Ocean's Thirteen

Format: CD   Release Date: 06/05/2007
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For his score to Ocean's Thirteen, the third entry in director Steven Soderbergh's franchise remake of the Frank Sinatra Las Vegas caper movie Ocean's 11, composer David Holmes deliberately harked back to what was considered hip jazz around the time the original film appeared. You would almost think that, having amassed his band, including Bruce Fowler (trombone), Steve Tavaglione (reeds), George Doering (guitar), Jason Falkner (guitar, bass), Woody Jackson (guitar, bass), Stephen Hilton (keyboards), Scott Kinsey (electric piano), Zac Rae (organ), Robert Hurst (acoustic bass), Tim Lefebvre (acoustic bass), Zach Danziger (drums), Davey Warf Rat Chegwidden (percussion), Luis Conte (percussion), Hugoth Nicolson (percussion), and Tommy Morgan (harmonica), he locked them in a room and played them some of the soul-jazz hits of the mid-'60s, such as "The 'In' Crowd," by the Ramsey Lewis Trio and "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," by the "Cannonball" Adderley Quintet, plus occasional tracks by Booker T. the MG's and Jimmy Smith, then asked them to come up with music in the same vein. That is what they did, even if it was actually composed by Holmes, who probably was thinking of such predecessors as Neal Hefti and Dave Grusin as he wrote. All that keeps this music from working well on its own is that, due to the editing demands of the film, the cues tend to be so short, some less than a minute in length, so that the band launches into an interesting musical idea, only to stop abruptly when a scene in the movie changes. The few additional tracks fit into the overall style of the score, particularly Puccio Roelens' update of Duke Ellington's "Caravan." And, of course, Frank Sinatra's swaggering rendition of "This Town" from 1967 is just icing on the cake. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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