Two bold soundtracks from Elmer Bernstein
– back to back on a single CD! First up is The Shootist – a late John Wayne western, but scored with a very classic feel – that driving, dramatic, very Americanist mode that Bernstein
brought to his best action scores for the west in the 60s – where each new tune feels like a rich, fresh theme – even though there's a great sense of variety in the record! As with the best Bernstein
, the orchestrations are always lean and focused – never too overblown, and able to pack just the right punch for the specific mood of the moment. Titles include "Shootout", "Farewells", "Ride", "Attack", "Pain/
Promise", and "Sweeney". Next is The Sons Of Katie Elder – a great 60s western with Dean Martin in the lead next to Wayne – given a soundtrack by Bernstein
that showcases some of the lighter elements that Martin brings to his performance – not comedic, but a nice balance to the usual John Wayne modes. The title track is served up in a vocal version by Johnny Cash, and John Wayne narrates "Texas Is A Woman" – alongside other tracks that include "The Elders Fight", "Trouble In Town", "Return To Town", "Memories Of Clearwater", and "Hastings Ranch".