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JAMES HORNER FILM MUSIC | October 19, 2018 |

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JACK THE BEAR EXPANDED ALBUM FROM LA-LA LAND

JACK THE BEAR EXPANDED ALBUM FROM LA-LA LAND
John Andrews

La-La Land Records has announced an expanded and remastered edition of James Horner’s score for Jack The Bear, limited to 1500 copies. Although the film is from 1993, this score was not published until 2001, as Intrada Special Collection Volume 3, with twelve tracks comprising about 47 minutes.

Jack The Bear’s shooting spanned from April to July 1991 (with additional shooting in July of 1992), but it was not released until 1993. James Horner recorded his score in October of 1992, just after the last shoots in July of 1992. This feature film tells how John Leary, a professional clown who has just lost his wife in a car accident, has to raise his two children Jack and Dylan alone. Alcohol problems led him to abandon the latter and to denounce his neo-fascist neighbor during a television program for children. Then begins a whole series of problems, starting with the disappearance of Dylan.

To illustrate this dramatic subject, James Horner leaves aside the orchestra, preferring to return to the synthesizers and a small group of instruments (flute, piano, violin, harmonica). The music focuses on following the emotions and feelings of the characters and announces the beauty of future intimate scores.

Altogether, this album contains about 7 minutes of unreleased material: 

Dad watches Dylan is a brief moment of the tender piano material interrupted by the darker drones representing Gary Sinise’s Norman Strick.

Apology to Norman is a conversational piece, made up of sustained synth strings and the opening notes of the main theme on piano.

The initial release of Crying in Hospital was only two minutes long and we learn that that was whittled down from a now six minutes of music, opening with a slightly hopeless sound of the synth strings and light piano touches before building in intensity as the Jack The Bear theme plays on innocently, a tense moment underscoring a traumatic experience for Dylan. This is followed by material that was released previously in 2001.

The theme for the family is an evolution of the main theme to Project X from 1987. Whereas the piano idea that opens the film and is heard in full in the penultimate cue Jack the Bear is an example of score becoming source music, as it is the melody to a song the late mother of the two boys would sing to them as she played piano.

The overall sound is less distant compared to the Intrada release, as the audio has been sourced from a digital master and lacks the mild hiss found on the previous edition. The premiere Intrada album has been out of stock for years, and so this new album offers the opportunity for fans of the score to re-discover it, expanded and remastered, and for listeners who are not familiar with it to come to know another intimate James Horner work as if it were new.

TRACK LISTING:

1 Main Title 3:01
2 Exploring the Neighborhood 1:50
3 Bogeyman Norman 3:08
4 Dad Watches Dylan* 1:52
5 Flashback 7:33
6 Dead Dog 4:30
7 Apology to Norman* 1:06
8 Bridge Talk 5:10
9 Dylan’s Gone 2:05
10 Dad Learns Dylan’s Gone 1:02
11 Crying in Hospital (Extended Version)** 6:06
12 Norman Attacks 11:21
13 Jack the Bear 1:35
14 Resolution and End Title 4:22
 Total Time: 54:57

* Previously unreleased
** Contains previously unreleased material

PURCHASE JACK THE BEAR

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Comments

  1. It was a busy year for James Horner in 1993, very busy. Jack the Bear certainly is not his strongest work, even in 1993, other intimate scores like Searching for Bobby Fisher or Man without a Face have more depth (along with A Far Off Place these are the very best from Horner in ’93).
    Although the ensemble was very small here (strings are sampled/synthesized) James came up with some nice ideas like including the bass harmonica. There is 7 minutes more music on the La-La Land CD and it does feature great liner notes, anyway I would say if you own the Intrada release you can stick with that, if you are a die hard Horner fan, get the La-La Land disc as well.

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