Music Composed by Kenyon Hopkins

Kenyon Hopkins fans celebrate! Legendary soundtrack from legendary Academy Award-winning film finally gets CD world premiere! Expanded, too! Robert Rossen directs from book by Walter Tevis, gifted Dede Allen edits, Eugen Schüfftan nabs Oscar for his stunning widescreen black-and-white cinematography, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott both provide unforgettable, Academy Award-nominated supporting roles. Lead actor Paul Newman vividly plays “Fast” Eddie Felson, arrogant pool shark, who determines to best legendary “Minnesota Fats”, played with dignified class by Jackie Gleason. Detailed characterizations, events and powerful outcome create one of the defining pictures of the sixties.

Stunning score by Kenyon Hopkins roots score in smoky pool hall jazz, then adds emotional depth, flavor to dramatic tale. Numerous musical devices are worthy of spotlight: Hopkins has trumpets, trombones typically utilize mutes, playing open in select passages only. Orchestration is equally unique: requisite sax-led big band forces appear but widening rainbow of sound comes from decidedly symphonic colors courtesy English horn, oboe, French horn, flute. Even electric guitar has its say. In another move of genius, Hopkins frequently writes in very transparent manner with exposed solos often heard without accompaniment. Jazz sequences play to tempo of montages, pulse of pool games while solos, woodwind colors play to inner drama, love story. Hopkin’s harmonic vernacular is also striking. This is serious, jazz-influenced original music! Inexplicably, prolific 50’s and 60’s film composer Hopkins has been mostly ignored in CD universe.

The Hustler joins Baby Doll, The Fugitive Kind as lone trio from large LP catalog that boasts The Yellow Canary, Lilith, The Strange One, This Property Is Condemned, Eleven Against The Ice, The Reporter, East Side West Side, others. Courtesy 20th Century Fox, all-new Intrada CD presentation of The Hustler offers original 1961 Kapp stereo LP program, then doubles length with treasure-trove of previously unreleased outtakes, unused cues, demos, all from absolutely pristine condition stereo master tapes, mixed by Mike Matessino.

Hopkins fans will be delirious! Julie Kirgo provides informative essay about picture and composer, Kay Marshall assembles dramatic “flipper-style” booklet with both original Kapp artwork plus 1961 film poster design, Nick Redman supervises production. Interesting movie footnote: Decades later, reprise of Eddie Felson role brought Paul Newman an Oscar for 1986 Martin Scorsese sequel, The Color Of Money. It’s hard to overstate importance of getting Kenyon Hopkins’ most important film score out on CD at last. Savor it! Kenyon Hopkins composes, conducts.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 375
Film Date: 1961
Album Date: 2017
Time: 67:17
Tracks: 35

Original 1961 Soundtrack Album
01. Main Title (Stop And Go) (1:53)
02. Minnesota Fats (2:06)
03. The Loser (3:23)
04. Sarah’s Theme (2:05)
05. 4 Flights Up* (1:43)
06. Fast Buck (2:10)
07. Small-Time Charlie (2:29)
08. Bert’s Theme (1:51)
09. Contract With Depravity (2:13)
10. All Thumbs (1:44)
11. Dining Out (1:19)
12. Derby Time (2:56)
13. Lipstick On A Mirror (2:04)
14. The Winner (1:33)
15. End Title* (2:01)
The Extras (Previously Unreleased)
16. Unused Cue Number 1 (3:11)
17. The Loser (Film Version) (1:01)
18. Unused Cue Number 2 (2:19)
19. Cocktail Trio (2:12)
20. Unused Cue Number 3 (0:36)
21. Hustle Beat (0:26)
22. Hustle Beat Double Time (0:22)
23. Theme Number 1 (1:37)
24. Main Title Demo 1 (1:41)
25. Main Title Demo 2 (1:40)
26. Main Title Demo 3 (1:42)
27. Side Pocket Radio (1:52)
28. Time Cue 1 (0:41)
29. Time Cue 2 (1:16)
30. End Title Section 2 (3:01)
31. Eddie Hurt Radio (1:27)
32. April Hurt Radio (2:38)
33. The Loser Radio (2:52)
34. Theme Number 3 (2:10)
35. Theme Number 1 – Second Version (1:53)
*Extended Version