- Composed by Trevor Jones
- La-La Land Records LLLCD 1116 / 2010 / 39:46
A swashbuckling pirate adventure starring Tommy Lee Jones sounds an unusual prospect – and like virtually all pirate movies which came in between Errol Flynn hanging up his sword and Johnny Depp first drawing his, Nate and Hayes was not a great success. I’ve heard of the movie – but I think it was only because I’ve seen it mentioned in the context of its composer, Trevor Jones. I had always assumed it was some sort of cop buddy movie (like Tango and Cash or better still Turner and Hooch). Just goes to show the danger of assumptions. Jones was very early on in his career at this point but was already reasonably well-known for his symphonic fantasy score The Dark Crystal and fans of that ought to be delighted with this release, the first ever for this excellent swashbuckling score.
There’s an obvious nod to Korngold in Jones’s main theme, centred around an heroic fanfare which could easily be from The Sea Hawk. It’s quite brilliant, really. There’s a swooning love theme too – of course – which is a little more Rozsa-inspired, I’d say; and plenty of action. The action music is more “modern” (you wouldn’t mistake it for a 1940s score) but still composed in that grand symphonic tradition. There are some electronics here and there, but these are mostly used to beef up the sound and never sound anachronistic. The six-minute action track which appears near the end of the album (“Gunboat Pursues the Leonora / Gunboat is Boarded” – believe it or not, that’s one of the shorter track titles) is a real highlight. The whole thing is a delightful treat for anyone who likes swashbuckling, adventure-filled orchestral film music – makes me wish Jones had had chance to score a few more films like this. Any fans of Cutthroat Island (and there are many, I know) as well as the classics from the early days of cinema ought to really lap this up. Highly recommended! ****