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Diamonds Original Soundtrack by Joel Goldsmith

Tracksounds Rating = 7/10

DIAMONDS original soundtarck  by Joel Goldsmith from Amazon.com

Composed by Joel Goldsmith
Produced by Joel Goldsmith and Rick Chaddock
Orchestrations by Nicholas Dodd
Released by Varese Sarabande Records 1999

Track Title Time Rating Big Bad Goldsmith Daddy
by Christopher Coleman

Marking the return to the big screen of one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, Kirk Douglas, the film, Diamonds, a film about a retired welterweight champion, Harry Agensky, who is recovering from a stroke (as Mr. Douglass is/has recovered from three himself) in search of a number of valuable diamonds that have mysteriously disappeared, may also mark a new beginning for composer Joel Goldsmith.  Not only is Diamonds a solid orchestral score, but it also features some big band jazz that Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, or even Big Bad Voodoo Daddy would be proud of!

As one of six children of the legendary composer, Jerry Goldsmith, Joel has been around the film music world all his life.  It was only a few years ago that he became active as a symphonic film composer himself.  His actual debut was in 1978 as a collaborator with Richard Band for Laserblast.  From there he continued to produce mostly synthesized scores.  In 1990, Joel Goldsmith landed the composer spot for Roland Emmerich’s Moon 44 and produced his first symphonic score.  In the late 1990’s Joel became much more active and recognized with scores for Kull the Conqueror and Shadow of Doubt.  Joel has also collaborated with his father, Jerry, on at least two well known film scores, Hoosiers and Star Trek:  First Contact, on which he is interviewed with his father.

Now, it is 2000 and maybe the world didn’t come to an end, but as the 20th century ends, Joel Goldsmith might be entering a new era in his own composing career.  Diamonds has provided Joel Goldsmith with an opportunity to showcase his ability to compose soft, emotion laden music, not too mention hot jazz/big band pieces like his father did decades ago.

Diamonds is a very enjoyable score.  There is a showcase main theme, but also moments of some great jazz- performed by an orchestra that really kicks!  Walk Through the Casino (track 7), is a fairly mellow introduction into the jazz element of this score, but does feature some brilliant brass accents.   Track 12, Reno Lights, is a high-octane jazz piece that just begs to be cranked through your system.  Yet another jazz track is found in Harry Chooses (track 18).  This piece is of the slow, sultry, rainy-night-private-investigator piece which could easily emanate from the golden era of Hollywood. Papa would be proud!  In recent years, other than a Terrence Blanchard, Dave Grusin, or one or two others,  film composers who have attempted to write a jazz pieces for films usually produced sub-par jazz material, not worthy of a second listen.  However, Joel Goldsmith, succeeds where they have failed.

Aside from the jazz/big band tracks, there are a number of exceptional symphonic pieces.  The best of them is the Main Title.  Beginning softly and simply the main theme works its way into a bright and moving mix of strings, French horns, piano, and woodwinds.   Some of Goldsmith’s compositions involving the piano, percussion, and strings (He’s A Writer and Photo Album tracks 3 and 5) are reminiscent to many of James Horner’s lighter moments heard in The Spitfire Grill, The Man Without a Face, and more recently, Bicentennial Man. Many of the other orchestral tracks (Sneaking Out, Harry Drives)  depict slices of humor from the film, are lighthearted and serve to help round this Varese Sarabande release out.

The CD concludes with a lively little diddy written by Goldsmith and performed by Peter Noone.  This is a happy little vocal number that fits in The Beatles or The Monkeys category and is in the spirit of the old seventies show The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.

Overall, this is quite a pleasurable listen; especially if you are looking for some variety on one CD.  The full orchestral pieces are high quality and one would likely suspect a dozen other composers as the creative source for the music.  As wonderfully surprising as these tracks are, what may be even more of a pleasant jolt are the jazz pieces.  Bright, witty, and crystal clear.  While this effort might not take one's breath away completely, it certainly holds much promise for the future of composer Joel Goldsmith.

1 Diamonds Main Title 1:53 ****
2 Sneaking Out 1:26 ***
3 He's A Writer  1:10 ****
4 Harry Drives 0:52 ***
5 Photo Album 1:30 ***
6 House is Gone 1:48 ****
7 Walk Through Casino 1:52 ****
8 Paper Tearing 1:15 ***
9 Mirror Reflection 0:53 ***
10 My Son the Boxer 0:36 ***
11 Lance's Girl 0:59 **
12 Reno Lights 2:34 ****
13 Hi Pop 0:22 ***
14 Aunt & Uncle's House 0:30 ****
15 Border 0:20 ***
16 Mugger 1:13 ***
17 Reno Rooftop 0:52 ****
18 Harry Chooses 1:49 ***
19 Married 3:43 ***
20 Not Again 2:07 ***
21 Box in the Wall 1:34 ***
22 Diamond Hunting 1:50 ***
23 Split the Diamonds 1:21 ***
24 Compartment in Box 4:14 ****
25 Keeps This World Alive - Performed by Peter Noone 2:28 ***
  Total Playing Time 38:58    

Category

Score

 
 Originality 8  

Music Selection

8  

Themes/ Composition

7  

CD Length

6  

Track Order

7  

Performance

8  

Final Score

7  
         

Other reviews:

Have something to say about this score?  If you would like to contribute please e-mail me your thoughts.  Keep in mind I am limited on space here so I can't publish everyone's comments...but do send them!  Thanks!

Composer
Joel Goldsmith

 Sound Clips:

Track 1 - Main Title

Track 12 - Reno Lights

 

Purchase this CD at

DIAMONDS original soundtarck  by Joel Goldsmith from Amazon.com

 

All artwork from Diamonds is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande Records (c) 1999.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.

 

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