Lalo Schifrin

The Osterman Weekend (Soundtrack)

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Lalo Schifrin is one of the great composers in film history and Sam Peckinpah was one of the great directors. Unfortunately, their one collaboration, The Osterman Weekend, does not rank among either artist's finest works. Both show signs of promise, but never deliver on their potential. Sadly, it turned out to be Peckinpah's last film, but Schifrin went onto greater projects, leaving The Osterman Weekend as a curiosity in his catalog. And it is a curious work, one that teeters between eerie melodrama and flat-out smooth jazz and AM pop, reminiscent of Christopher Cross. It's a score that is very much of its time, filled with chorused guitars, electric pianos, synthesizers, lite funk, drum machines and easy melodies, either reminiscent of fusion or adult contemporary pop depending on your point of view. As a historical curiousity, it's sort of interesting -- it brings you right back to 1982/1983 -- but only portions of the score are filled with drama, suspense or even evocative music. It plays like a lite jazz-pop album, not a score, and it doesn't work as well as Schfrin's official jazz releases. Only completists of the composers work -- or listeners with a serious '80s jones -- will find it necessary to visit The Osterman Weekend.

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