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Soundtrack Review

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Perry Mason
Season 1
Music from the HBO Series


Composer: Terence Blanchard
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 August 2020

WaterTower Music release the soundtrack for Perry Mason: Season 1, with music written by trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard. Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, this drama series follows the origins of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defence lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself...

Terence Blanchard's score for Perry Mason, while not overly original, is notable in that it almost instantly conjures up images in the listener's mind. There's a nice mix of styles here. While the majority are based around your typical jazz trumpet based private detective noir, there are plenty of tracks that fall under the category of traditional score ('OK OK'), as well as a few familiar jazz songs from the time period of the show (1930s). The trumpet is not an instrument you hear front and centre all that much these days and so this made for an interesting listening experience.

At 2 hrs, 13 min, 13 sec (spread over 72 tracks) you can't say you don't get value for money here. However, I'm hoping that the digital files we were sent for review are not the same as those that are available when downloading, as they were formatted badly meaning that when trying to listen to them they would only play in alphabetical order. The end result is that I had to spend some considerable time putting them into the correct running order.

For fans of the show, jazz aficionados, or those that love the classic detective noir soundtracks, this is an essential purchase. Blanchard has managed to deliver new and interesting themes that come from a very familiar place - and that's not an easy task to pull off successfully.

Those who enjoyed Blanchard's music might like to check out his 2017 album Terence Blanchard: Music for Film.


Darren Rea

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