THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION: VOLUME 2
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Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 2: CINEMATIC NOIR, featuring music composed by David Michael Frank (ABOVE THE LAW, POISON IVY, THE MOLE). This second collection of David Michael Frank’s film music includes music from eight scores from the composer’s extensive filmography, focusing on films with a noirish bent.
BLINDSIDED was written and directed by Thomas Michael Donnelly, starring Jeff Fahey, Mia Sara and Rudy Ramos. Released in 1993, BLINDSIDED tells the story of Frank McKenna (Fahey) an ex-cop who is temporarily blinded by a gunshot wound to the back of his neck after double-crossing a money-laundering operation. While recuperating in Mexico, he becomes smitten with Chandler (Sara), a gorgeous femme fatale with underworld connections. After Chandler mysteriously disappears, Frank returns to the States, risking the wrath of disgruntled gangsters hellbent on reacquiring their stolen cash.
DANCING WITH DANGER was directed by Stuart Cooper, written by Elisa Bell and starring Ed Marinaro, Cheryl Ladd and Miguel Sandoval. DANCING WITH DANGER tells the story of Derek (Ed Marinaro), a private detective who falls in love with Mary (Cheryl Ladd), a taxi dancer, whose job is to dance with the patrons. Mary is loosely connected with an unsolved murder in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mary flees to Portland, Oregon, when suspicions flare. At the request of her neurotic husband, Derek pursues her across the country to unravel the mystery.
DEAD BY SUNSET was a two part television mini-series directed by Karen Arthur, written by Wesley Bishop, based on the book by Ann Rule, starring Ken Olin, Lindsay Frost and Annette O’Toole. DEAD BY SUNSET was based on a true story about a physician who falls in love with a charming man who may have raped and murdered his previous wife.
LINDA was directed by Nathaniel Gutman, written by Nevin Schreiner, based on the book by John D. MacDonald, starring Virginia Madsen, Richard Thomas, Ted McGinley and Laura Harrington. Released in 1993, LINDA revolves around two friendly couples who go on a vacation together. Their situation takes a turn for the worse when two of the friends spend far too much time together instead of their respective spouses.
LITTLE GIRL FLY AWAY was directed by Peter Levin, written by Gene Stone, Eric Bergren and Alan Sharp, starring Mare Winningham, Bruce Davison and Clayton Rohner. Released in 1998, LITTLE GIRL FLY AWAY tells the story of Cath (Winningham), a woman whose life is shattered by Frank (Davison), a poetry-spouting stalker who manages to continually evade her police protectors.
PASSION AND PREJUDICE was directed by Karen Arthur, written by Kathleen Orillion, starring Frances Fisher, Derwin Jordan and Kandyse McClure. PASSION AND PREJUDICE tells the story of Gwen Barry (Fisher), a college professor who hires a Dalton, a young inmate to tend her yard through a prison work furlough program. Their relationship soon heats into a torrid love affair. After Dalton is released from prison, he meets Tamara, a young college student and attempts to restart his life with her while Gwen remains obsessed with destroying it.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA was directed by Karen Arthur, written by Camille Thomasson, starring John Stamos, Kim Delaney, CCH Pounder, Claire Yarlett and Robert Carradine. Released in 1993, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA follows a young couple whose marriage is on the brink of failure. During a private boat excursion, Christina (Yarlett) mysteriously disappears and her husband, Joe (Stamos) becomes the main suspect. The plot thickens when it’s revealed that Christina may have been having an affair with a close friend of Joe’s.
THE LOTTERY was directed by Daniel Sackheim, written by Anthony Spinner, based on the short story by Shirley Jackson, starring Keri Russell, Dan Cortese, Veronica Cartwright, Stephen Root, William Daniels and William Morgan Sheppard. Released in 1996, THE LOTTERY tells the story of an idyllic town that practices an annual rite in which one member of the community is stoned to death in order to ensure a good harvest.
David Michael Frank was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where he studied classical piano and composition at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. After graduating from Northwestern University, Frank moved to New York, where he became Broadway’s youngest conductor. After six years in New York, he relocated to California to pursue a career in film composition, where he’s scored numerous films of various types and over 200 episodes of television over more than forty years in media composition.
Dragon’s Domain Records presents THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 2: CINEMATIC NOIR, featuring music composed by David Michael Frank for several projects from his filmography, digitally mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland, featuring liner notes written by Brian Satterwhite, with the participation of the composer.
THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 2: CINEMATIC NOIR is a limited edition release of 500 units. THE DAVID MICHAEL FRANK COLLECTION, Volume 2: CINEMATIC NOIR is expected to begin shipping the week of July 10, 2023.
The first 50 copies ordered through the buysoundtrax.com website will be autographed by the composer at no extra charge.
The David Michael Frank Collection, Vol. 2 ****
DAVID MICHAEL FRANK
Dragon’s Domain DDR786
26 tracks - 79:08
David Michael Frank’s long career has seen him provide scores for a range of genres. Dragon’s Domain’s latest composer-centric release, The David Michael Frank Collection, Vol. 2: Cinematic Noir, gathers excerpts from eight made-for-TV, noir-heavy thrillers that Frank scored over an eight-year period from 1993 to 2001.
Blindsided (1993) features Jeff Fahey as an ex-cop on the run from gangsters looking for their stolen money. “Main Theme” introduces a piano melody over a keyboard ostinato, before the inevitable saxophone adds a noirish touch. Trumpet takes over the motif in “The Final Act,” followed by sax and an evocative bridge for harp and electronics. The ostinato returns for the “End Theme,” concluding this section with a neat, pop-ish finale.
Dancing With Danger (1994) follows the torrid affair between a private detective and a taxi dancer suspected of murder. From the smoky jazz instrumentals to Carmen Twillie’s vocals, the song “Bittersweet” perfectly conjures the hard-boiled atmosphere of a dime-store gumshoe yarn. “The Taxi Dancer” keeps up this style, with lounge jazz created by piano, horns, vibraphone and drum kit.
A doctor discovers some troubling facts about her new husband’s past in Dead by Sunset (1995). The “Opening Theme” offers a repeating piano melody that Frank augments with brooding strings and alto sax, though it’s the wandering motif—first introduced on harp and flute before traversing the ensemble—that makes the strongest impression. “Conflicting Emotions” brings back the main theme and develops it prominently for brass. Though the encroaching jazz and heavy piano would seem to hint at further misery, the English horn that bookends the “Finale” allows the protagonist some kind of relief.
Linda (1993) concerns a pair of couples and the infidelity that develops among them. Another repeated idea for piano spins off into a dreamy tune for strings in the “Main Theme.” “Searching for Clues” lays brooding strings over a keyboard ostinato, while hammering piano and descending brass accompany an icy string section, denoting a “Murder on the Beach.” “The Interrogation” is marked by cello and low brass, underlining the gravity of the situation. “Resolution” reprises the main melody, sending the score back to where it started.
Little Girl Fly Away (1998) pits a woman against a dangerous, poetry-spouting stalker. The string and trumpet waltz of the “Main Title” suggests beauty as much as danger. The waltz returns in a darker treatment in “The Nightmare,” with repeating piano standing out amongst the mire, but then, “The Nightmare Ends,” delivering a finale of warm strings and flute.
Passion and Prejudice (2001) tells the story of a college professor and her obsession with the work-release inmate tending to her property. The “Main Title” introduces a brass-led theme backed by piano and airy synths. The track title “Tender and Slow” is also an accurate description of the use of the main melody on electronic winds. “Smoldering Lust,” meanwhile, uses steamy horns against piano. “Nocturnal Dreamscape” builds tension with brass and prominent electronics. “Nightmare Ends” finishes the score off with rumbling drums leading to a reprise of the main theme.
A young woman disappears and her husband finds himself the prime suspect in The Disappearance of Christina (1993). The questing melody in “Lethal Lillian” sets trumpet over guitar, before saxophone also enters the scene, followed by strings and a pounding drum beat. “The Bitter End” sees piano leading off, with a sultry trumpet gradually taking over.
Based on the famous Shirley Jackson story, The Lottery (1996) tells of a town where one unfortunate citizen must be stoned to death in order to maintain a good harvest. In a neat departure from the rest of the album, the “Main Theme” is based in solemn choir and techno beats; this represents a clever mixture of traditional and modern, with the score’s long-lined theme appearing at the 0:48 mark. “The Switch” is earmarked by repeating figures for harp and piano, as well as an eerie flute motif, but the principal melody returns near the end. Pounding drums and mournful cello mark the coming of “The Ceremony,” where wavering winds and cooing vocals abet the inexorable creepiness of the ritual, as does the lack of a conclusive musical statement.
A fascinating collection of noir-heavy thriller styles, The David Michael Frank Collection, Vol. 2 should impress the composer’s fans as well as listeners who enjoy darker hues in their film music. —Tor Harbin
1. Main Theme (1:51)
2. The Final Act (2:32)
3. End Theme (1:13)
DANCING WITH DANGER
4. Bittersweet (3:42)
Lyrics by Todd Smallwood
Performed by Carmen Twillie
5. The Taxi Dancer (3:45)
DEAD BY SUNSET
6. Opening Theme (2:47)
7. Conflicting Emotion (4:49)
8. Finale (3:35)
9. Main Theme (2:06)
10. Searching For Clues (2:20)
11. Murder On The Beach (2:33)
12. The Interrogation (2:31)
13. Resolution (2:11)
LITTLE GIRL FLY AWAY
14. Main Title (2:25)
15. The Nightmare (4:30)
16. The Nightmare Ends (2:29)
PASSION AND PREJUDICE
17. Main Title (1:38)
18. Tender and Slow (2:39)
19. Smoldering Lust (3:48)
20. Nocturnal Dreamscape (2:18)
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHRISTINA
21. Lethal Lillian (4:15)
22. The Bitter End (3:59)
23. Main Theme (3:54)
24. The Switch (2:49)
25. The Ceremony (5:59)
Total Time: 77:56