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Soundtrack of the American Soldier


Composers: Various
Conductor: Col. Jim R. Keene
Performed by: The United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 August 2020

Navona Records presents Soundtrack of the American Soldier, an album of contemporary works for wind band performed by The United States Army Field Band. Led by Colonel Jim R Keene, the Army Field Band is the U.S. Army’s premier touring musical organization. The album presents music of classic American films and video games, and in doing so celebrates the stories they portray and the men and women who inspired them...

Teaming up with some of the most-heralded composers in Hollywood - including Laura Karpman, Joshua Moshier, and Jeff Beal - the Army Field Band performs fresh arrangements of music from the 1941 Gary Cooper classic Sergeant York, the legendary Electronic Arts video game Medal of Honor, and everything in between.

The PR blurb states that the album "... is both a moving tribute to military heroes and a fresh look at stories and sounds of struggle and ultimate triumph.", which is partly true. But I'm not really sure why it is titled Soundtrack of the American Soldier. While it's performed by members of the United States Army and the majority of the tracks have an army/military slant there are some odd choices on here and some pieces that are surprisingly absent. Why any music from Star Wars is included is a mystery and why music from Saving Private Ryan or Platton is absent is equally baffling. Although, once again turning to the PR, we discover that "The album concludes with an unexpected treat and homage to the Skywalker Ranch, home of Skywalker Sound where the album was recorded".

That said, this is an engaging and beautifully performed album which has some real gems on it. Another selling point, and this is something that works really well here, is that the album is presented in immersive Dolby Atmos® (5.1.4), Surround (5.1), and Stereo. So i you have a surround system you'll really be impressed with how wonderful this sounds.

Track listing:

Laura Karpman
01 - Brass Ceiling: The Journey of General Ann Dunwoody (6:18)

Max Steiner
02 - Overture to “Sergeant York” (6:03)
Master Sgt. Adrian Hernandez (arranger)

Michael Giacchino
03 - Medal of Honor Suite (7:43)
Tim Simonec (arranger)

Words and Music by George M. Cohan
04 - Over There (2:35)
Master Sgt. Adrian Hernandez (arranger)
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Erbe & Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Garcia (soloists)

Joshua Moshier
05 - A Portrait of Honor (5:08)

Joseph DeBeasi
06 - American Sniper Suite (6:42)

John Williams
07 - The March from 1941 (4:11)
Paul Lavender (arranger)

Jeff Beal
08 - The Long Road Home: Suite from the Mini-Series (8:41)

Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein
09 - The Great WWII Medley (4:17)
Tim Simonec (arranger)

Words and Music by Irving Berlin
10 - God Bless America (4:02)
Glenn Osser (arranged for the Boston Pops)
Paul Lavender (transcribed for band)

Francis Scott Key
11 - The Star-Spangled Banner (1:57)
Master Sgt. Adrian Hernandez (arranger)

Mark Isham
12 - Army Strong (2:40)
Brad Dechter (arranger)

John Williams
13 - The Jedi Steps and Finale (9:04) (From Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Paul Lavender (arranger)


Darren Rea

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