'AN ELEPHANT CALLED SLOWLY' - CONCERT SUITE op.674 (August 2015)

Music from the score of the film sequel to 'Born Free' starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers
Published by: Highbridge Music/MPL
Instrumentation:

Woodwind 1 picc/flute/alto sax Woodwind 2 flute/clar/alto sax Woodwind 3 flute/tenor sax/clar Woodwind 4 tenor sax/clar/flute/bass clar Woodwind 5 Contrabass clar; 3 trpts,flugel, 3 trbs,bass trb; piano, guitar, elec. gtr, percussion, drums


[Key to Abbreviations]
Duration: 11 mins
First Performance: First concert performance 17 November 2015 Loxwood Jazz and Blues - Simon Bates Big Band

Recordings Available
LP vinyl USA available from Bell Records NY or AMAZON

Movements

  • 1: Kenya Morning
  • 2: Elephant Rides Again
  • 3: Big Wallow
  • 4: Fever Tree
  • 5: March of the Elephants ('Just a Ride')

Notes

ELEPHANT RIDES AGAIN AND ‘JUST A RIDE’. “Just a Ride" was the second single released by Jem from her debut album Finally Woken. It was based on samples from Howard Blake’s Bell record ‘An Elephant called Slowly’ of 1970. The song was featured on Music from the OC: Mix 1, along with "Maybe I'm Amazed" (a cover of the famous Paul McCartney song). "Just a Ride" was also featured on the soundtracks of Monster-in-Law (2005) and The Prince and Me (2004).

REMIX  ‘Just a ride’, a Fatboy Slim remix was released  in 2005

‘DREAM WITH THE FISHES’ – Music from ‘An Elephant called slowly’ was featured on the soundtrack of Dream with the Fishes, a 1997 film directed by Finn Taylor. The film was Taylor's directorial debut.

A suite in five movements constructed from the score originally composed, orchestrated  and conducted by Howard Blake for the British feature film of 1970. It was the follow-up to the very successful ‘Born Free’, again starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. with George Adamson as himself.

A Morningstar Production, directed by James Hill, produced by

Bill Travers and James Hill, released in UK by British Lion.

 Synopsis: The film begins with Travers and McKenna leaving their home in England to caretake a house in Africa belonging to a friend scheduled for lengthy medical treatments in Switzerland. Arriving in Nairobi, they are met by Mr. Mophagee (Vinay Inambar) who has arranged transport for the couple - an old land rover series 2 which becomes something of a character in the film. After buying food supplies in a local market, the couple traverse a wilderness populated by a variety of wildlife—wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, ostrich, and crocodile—to their friend's house 150 miles distant from Nairobi. There, they cope with the house's primitive amenities including a kitchen in a truck, not to mention their temperamental Land Rover which seems to have a mind of its own.

One morning, the couple rise to find three young elephants lumbering about the grounds and wreaking havoc "like juvenile delinquents". The couple name the two largest elephants Kadengi and Jaspar, and the smallest one pole pole (Swahili for "Slowly Slowly"). The couple visit Game Wardens George Adamson and Charles Mutiso (Ali Twaha) who suggest the couple have been "adopted" by the three elephants and recommend they make friends. At home, pole pole has moved in and made herself comfortable; the couple create a wallow on the grounds for her, travel to the river for a swim, and take evening walks with her. When their house-sitting duty comes to a close, Travers and McKenna are confident the three elephants will join a herd in the vicinity. Cast includes Joab Collins as Henry, and Raffles Harman.

ALBUM FROM THE MOTION PICTURE:  Howard Blake ‎– ‘An Elephant Called Slowly’ - Label: Bell Records ‎– BELL 1202, Format:Vinyl, LP Country:US, Released:1970,  Genre: Jazz,  Style:Big Band, Easy Listening.

 REVIEW: (Blaxploitation.com 2008) “Composer Howard Blake scored the follow-up movie to "Born Free" in a completely oddball funk fashion. A great, almost tongue-in-cheek album with a big band Disney-style sound in places, don't miss the excellent slow-burn break-beat instrumental "Elephant Rides Again".


Performances

17th November 2015 Simon Bates Big Band, Loxwood Jazz and Blues, Loxwood (Chichester)

Following the success of 'Heartbeat' on June 5th 2015 the band decided to repeat it on November 17th, asking Howard if he could come up with a new piece to accompany it. Howard returned to his score for the sequel to 'Born Free' in 1969 and re-created it in the form of a concert suite for big band.

17th November 2015 Simon Bates Big Band, Loxwood Jazz and Blues

Related Works


'AN ELEPHANT CALLED SLOWLY' op.70 (1969) (Audio Sample Available)
Score for a feature film, sequel to 'Born Free', starring Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers

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