Unknown Soldier

Composed By: Peter Calandra

Produced By: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            Unknown Soldier is the debut film of writer, producer and director Ferenc Toth.  Starring Carl Louis, Randy Clark, Layla Edwards, Carl Garrison and Postell Pringle, the movie focuses on Ellison (Carl Louis), known as “L” to his family and friends, a young man who has everything going for him.  Despite having lost his mother at the age of five, Ellison still grew up to be an intelligent, vibrant 18-year-old, thanks to his loving father.  To say that Ellison has led a sheltered life becomes an understatement when tragedy strikes and Ellison finds himself out on his own in the streets of Harlem.  Hoping to eke out a living in a way that would make his father proud, L finds trying to make ends meet via honest, hard work is somehow not enough.  He loses his home and is forced to live on the streets.  Struggling to survive in a world that seems to have turned against him, Ellison feels like his back is to the wall.  In a bout of desperation, he seeks out an old neighbourhood friend who drags him into the gangsta life.  Now, as he feels every thread from the life he knew slipping away, Ellison begins a new battle for survival – against himself. 

            The Original Motion Picture Score of Unknown Soldier is composed by Peter Calandra, an accomplished jazz musician and composer.  He has composed film scores for movies such as 13th Child: Legend of the Jersey Devil and has written over 800 compositions for television.  Calandra spent ten years playing the piano chair for the Broadway production of Miss Saigon, played in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, served as Pianist / Conducter and Musical Director for the original New York City production of Little Shop of Horrors, and toured the United States playing with Les Misérables

            Jazz is the perfect music medium for the soundtrack of Unknown Soldier.  Peter Calandra uses the music medium to bring out the emotion throughout the film.  The good, carefree times, the painful struggles, the hard decisions, the loss – these emotions are all brought out through Calandra’s composition.  Calandra is not only the composer of this album, he also performs, adding his piano, keyboard and digital sequencing to Dan Kleps’ saxophones, Bud Burridge’s trumpet, Howard Jones’ drums and percussion, and Kermit Driscoll’s acoustic bass.  The first track of the album has a sound reminiscent to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On – the percussion, the sax – you are instantly brought into Ellison’s world.  You join him on his emotionally turbulent ride with the help of Calandra’s composition.  MovieScore Media’s release of the Original Motion Picture Score of Unknown Soldier contains three bonus piano solos from Calandra that aid in defining Ellison’s character.  

            Any jazz connoisseur will fall instantly in love with the Original Motion Picture Score of Unknown Soldier.  Fans of the movie will embrace the emotion brought out by the score.  Peter Calandra has perfectly captured the feeling of the movie with his composition.  Trust me, this is not a soundtrack you want to pass up!


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