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Intrada: "MACKENNA'S GOLD/IN COLD BLOOD" Composed and Conducted by QUINCY JONES

Intrada presents two Quincy Jones' scores one CD  - MacKenna's Gold premieres alongside his Oscar-nominated In Cold Blood.  Up first is Mackenna’s Gold, freshly mixed from the 8-track record album recording sessions and using the 2-track RCA album masters, making a powerful argument for Jones’ versatility. While he undeniably brought his pop expertise to bear in the groovy keyboards and drums, his orchestral acumen and training with Nadia Boulanger are on full display. Whether in the quasi-religioso feeling and harmonically rich writing or the harrowing percussion and brass featured in this score, his mastery is clear.  Jones partnered with Carl Foreman and Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano, in his film debut, to create “Ole Turkey Buzzard.” The ballad charts the course of a raptor who waits hungrily for the death that follows where men lust for gold.

The film stars Gregory Peck as Mackenna, a prospector-turned-lawman who lays eyes on a map to the legendary Cañon del Oro-a gold-rich canyon supposedly protected by vengeful Apache spirits. His knowledge makes him invaluable to his old rival, the bandit Colorado (Omar Sharif). Mackenna agrees to cooperate, both to save his own skin and to protect an abductee, Inga (Camilla Sparv).  The story climaxes with a vertiginous battle to the death and an earth-shaking finale.

In complete contrast to MacKenna's Gold, the black-and-white thriller In Cold Blood is sourced from Truman Capote’s famous book, based on his investigations into a quadruple murder that took place in Holcomb, Kansas, in 1959. Killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock (Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) and their crime captivated the public imagination with its brutality and senselessness.

Quincy Jones’ score for In Cold Blood is a jazz fever dream, shot through with weird instrumental and vocal effects. Often, the ensemble is a thicket of nervous energy, twitchy and unpredictable. Elsewhere it becomes a slow-motion nightmare, a morass of dissonance and sliding pitches. Even more than on Mackenna’s Gold, Jones engaged with the sound design, layering dissonant woodwinds over screeching bus brakes, using water-filled bottles during a bluesy interlude where the killers scavenge glass, and suggesting a heartbeat in anticipation of the haunting finale.

Both scores show different sides of Quincy Jones and both are presented from well-preserved master elements at Sony Pictures.

INTRADA Special Collection 391
Click here for track listing and sound samples!
Jeremy [Six Strings]

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