- Composed by Bruce Broughton
- Intrada / 2013 / 58m
Those who don’t live in the USA (such as myself) may not be aware of its annual custom of gathering together once a year to give solemn thanks to the natives. Apparently this thanks is expressed in the form of eating lots of food and watching television, which sounds like a fairly typical day for me. In 1986 Disney made a tv movie about it, The Thanksgiving Promise, directed by Beau Bridges who starred along with his son and father (even his brother appeared in a brief cameo). The lovely score was provided by Bruce Broughton, in full-on gentle Americana mode. The highlight is the gorgeous main theme, a gently rolling piece which instantly brings to mind a picture of an old man in suspenders (the kind that hold up trousers, not the lingerie) sitting in a rocking chair with a piece of straw in his mouth. It’s such a nice piece of music (and a very close relative of the composer’s later theme for The Old Man and the Sea – and then remodelled once again for use in the short Disney film Seasons of the Vine).
You hear a lot of the theme through the course of the album – perhaps the best version remains the lengthy arrangement for the main title, but it never outstays its welcome. Related music with a lighthearted twist also provides some highlights, particularly the delightful “Goose on the Loose”. The ensemble Broughton uses for all this is perfect – chamber orchestra highlighting wind solos, also guitar and dulcimer and harmonica – a vintage sound. Occasional breaks into other styles work less well – there’s some instrumental country music which would have been better in the bonus track section and very occasional synth work which sounds entirely out of place (oddly Douglass Fake picks out “Gobble, Gobble and Tractor Chase” as a highlight of the score, but it sounds to me like a piece of extremely cheesy 80s action music which would be more at home in a Harald Faltermeyer score and is completely ill-at-ease in its surroundings, at least until it becomes a little more acoustic towards the end). An earlier action track, “The Attack”, feels much more at home. But all in all it’s a really nice album, warm and attractive, Broughton doing what he does so well.
Rating: *** 1/2