My good friend Marc Morrison, who normally writes The 8 Ball, had been hounding me to contribute a video game music column for months now, pitching broad ideas along the lines of “Top 8 Cues in Video Games”. I felt this was casting the net far too wide – an impossible task to do properly. Hence, I suggested a much narrower focus that would allow me to shine light on some overlooked gems instead. Here, then, are my personal favorite soundtracks for lousy video games.
Seductive melodies and danceable rhythms carry the day on Shades of Rio, a tasteful debut recording by the southern California-based Kevin Kaska Jazz Orchestra, which earns the name by using a full string section on most numbers to complement its well-upholstered twenty-three member core ensemble anchored by master drummer Harvey Mason.
Conducted by Kevin Kaska, the performance featured the Córdoba Orchestra and Choir Ziryab along with performers from the film’s score, woodwind player Pedro Eustache, and vocalist and soloist Lisbeth Scott. The Córdoba Mosque is one of the largest and oldest in the world. La-La Land records has released a 2-Disc Set in honor of the concert.