After the Jade expansion and the extended versions of Braveheart, Balto, Apollo 13, and Casper, here is Jumanji! This is the last score of 1995 that had not passed through the expert hands of La-La Land Records and Intrada, the two labels that have been spoiling us for years.
We have listened carefully to the new edition and have this to say:
– The new mastering by Douglass Fake is superb. The sound is clearer, more dynamic, as if a veil has been removed compared to the previous edition. It is easier to perceive the details of the orchestration and listening to the new edition allows us to rediscover certain passages that we thought we had known for over a quarter of a century.
– The commentary written by John Takis offers exclusive quotes from orchestrator Steve Bramson along with the usual detail and insight that we have come to expect from Intrada's expert liner notes. The additional ‘Tech Talk’ by Douglass Fake sheds light on the production of the original album.
– On the first CD, Intrada presents an extended version of 70 minutes and 36 seconds, almost 20 minutes longer than the 51 minutes of the 1995 version.
This infographic shows that the new tracks are spread evenly throughout the score:
– Four and a half previously unreleased minutes precede the arrival of the monkeys in the kitchen ('Monkey Mayhem') and deepen the mystery of the game.
– Another four previously unreleased minutes bring action and angst after the duet 'The New World' and 'Alan Parrish', which are now combined to provide seven minutes of almost continuous melancholy as Alan Parrish discovers what the world has become during his absence.
– Finally, seven and a half previously unreleased minutes are squeezed in between 'A Pelican Steals The Game' and 'The Monsoon' to provide a mischievous and heroic variation on the main theme. This theme is the big winner of this new edition as it is present in seven of the twelve new tracks, thus considerably strengthening the narrative.
Below is a short description of each new track.
CD1 – 02 Alan Finds The Game – 1:56
The mood is sombre for Alan's discovery of the game. Tony Hinnigan's toyos (large pan flutes) open the track, followed by the theme played by three horns. The trombones evoke Aliens before Kazu Matsui's shakuhachi starts an ostinato from the violas that lasts until the end of the piece. The theme returns, this time played by flutes and violins. A trumpet plays a musical figure often used by James Horner, i.e. a long note then a short one. The composer uses this effect in The Devil's Own (1997) at the beginning of the cue 'The New World'. The brass chords on the ostinato conclude the piece and evoke the sinking in Titanic.
CD1 – 03 Oven Sounds / First Move – 2:26
This track is identical to the 1995 album except that a shrill noise is added in the first few seconds. On screen it is heard as the pieces fall into place after the game box is opened.
CD1 – 04 The New House – 1:25
This track marks the change of an era. The orphans Peter and Judy discover their new home. The violins doubled by the oboe play mournful music briefly interrupted by a crescendo of horns and trombones as Peter observes dead leaves under an armchair.
The mystery is maintained by the shakuhachi and toyos while the main theme is played by the horns when Peter discovers the library.
CD1 – 05 Bats In The Attic / The Exterminator – 1:38
Peter's exploration of the house ends in the attic with the mysterious theme on harp and celesta. When he sees the bats, Judy's run is accompanied by Aliens percussion: whip, anvil, bass drum, timpani, and piano cluster in the low and high register.
When the aunt goes up to the attic to close the door, the mysterious celesta theme returns with a counterpoint of cellos and double basses playing a melody heard in Casper.
The second part of the track is based on minor chords played by the strings as the hunter evokes the morbid legend surrounding the mansion.
CD1 – 06 Monkey Mayhem – 5:23
The version presented here offers 40 seconds more than the 1995 album. Between the orchestral clusters, the notes are often held for a long time. These moments of waiting were shortened on the original album but are featured here in their entirety.
CD1 – 09 Mosquito In Car – 1:24
Alan, Peter and Judy in a car are attacked by a giant mosquito. The shakuhachi marks the sudden appearance of the mosquito on screen. The percussion from Aliens returns as the mosquito uses its stinger to pierce the roof. Crescendos of paper clips represent the sound of the insect's wings. Later, the effect is enhanced by tremolo horns, a technique used by Jerry Goldsmith in The Swarm (1978), a film about… killer bees. Note that the percussion symbolizes many of the mosquito's attacks that are not seen on screen. The music is at the service of an economy of means in terms of special effects.
The burst of brass that accompanies the short car journey is also reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith's style, and suggests a possible temp track influence.
CD1 – 10 Alan Explains The Dangers – 0:49
The main theme is played by the flutes and clarinets in unison, then by the horns and finally by the violins and flutes. Note the presence of a military drum.
CD1 – 12 Plant Almost Eats Peter – 2:07
This is an angsty track that builds up the tension to illustrate the moment when the game makes dangerous plants appear around the heroes.
The main theme is played once again by the flutes doubled by the violins. The entrance of the violas seems to represent the vines that snake and gradually invade the whole room. Here again the music represents a threat that is rarely represented on screen. The piece concludes with a beautiful passage of tragic strings that launch a dramatic brass crescendo reminiscent of the Lazarus sequence in Casper.
CD1 – 16 Hunter Sniffs The Game – 0:27
This very short piece begins on toyos and features a variation of the main theme in horns, violins and violas.
CD1 – 17 Hunter Shoots At Alan / Monkeys Start Looting – 1:05
Another a short piece that adds a new sequence of circus music based on horns, rattles, tremolo xylophone, piccolos, high pitched clarinet, and finally trumpets that symbolize the barking of elephants.
The piece concludes with a short march played by the bass clarinet and the cellos and double basses in pizzicato.
CD1 – 18 Rampage Through Town Pt. I & Pt. II – 2:55
In the 1995 album, the second part of "Rampage Through Town" corresponded to the track "Peter's Tail" which is now chronologically placed in its rightful place on track 21.
The second part of this new "Rampage Through Town" is therefore unreleased. The great novelty is the introduction of the heroic and mischievous variation of the main theme associated with the exploits of Peter and Judy.
CD1 – 19 Store Mayhem – 1:57
The track opens with the trumpet playing the long then short note heard in track 02. The Hunter's march, introduced in 'The Hunter', is also briefly heard. The heroic and mischievous variation of the main theme is played first by the woodwinds and glockenspiel. A lone trumpet announces The Mask of Zorro. The theme variation then returns twice to horns and glockenspiel, then trumpet, woodwinds and glockenspiel.
CD1 – 20 Car Crash – 2:25
The sampled horn sound opens the track, followed by a triple appearance of the trumpet motif heard in The Pelican Brief ("Planting The Bomb"). The variation of the heroic and mischievous theme makes a brief appearance again in flute, oboe and glockenspiel. The trombones make a comeback, followed by an original combination of a harp glissando, a bowed cup, a mark tree, a rattle…. For the end of the piece, the trumpet speeds up the rhythm by playing the same notes as the beginning of A Beautiful Mind. A final variation of the main theme in its heroic and mischievous form is played by the horns and trombones. Tony Hinnigan's quena marks Alan Parrish's return to the children.
CD1 – 21 Peter's Tail / Van Pelt's Hand – 1:30
This gentle moment when Alan tries to comfort Peter was already present in the first album placed in the second part of "Rampage Through Town". When the heroes discover that the interior of the house has turned into a jungle, the main theme returns in its original form. New to this edition is the return of the shrill metallic sound (already heard at the beginning of track 4) when the hunter's hand begins to move under the paint cans.
CD1 – 23 Jumanji [Film Edit] – 11:42
For the version used in the film, different takes were used for some parts of the track.
CD1 – 24 Peter, Judy And Parents – 0:52
Here is a gentle track based on synthetic strings and glockenspiel, where James Horner plays on the piano the three chords associated with Alan Parrish in the intimate moments of the film, and already heard in Searching for Bobby Fischer.
The Intrada extended edition also offers three alternative tracks at the beginning of CD2
CD2 – 01 Monkey Mayhem (Without Klaxon Horns) – 4:42
This track features the version of the cue featured on the original album but without the sampled horns, for the scene where the monkeys ransack the kitchen. This is the version that was chosen for the film.
CD2 – 02 "It's Sarah's Move" (Alternate) – 2:34
This version features slight changes in the solo passages; the rhythmic timings are slightly different too.
CD2 – 03 Jumanji Drums – 0:35
This short track features the isolated percussion used in the film's title track.
The rest of CD2 features the remastered 1995 presentation.
This new edition offers Horner fans twenty new and fascinating minutes that structure the narrative and propose a lively variation of the main theme. In short, a very easy recommendation!
Special thanks to Roger Feigelson
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