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Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees CD Review


Written by: Dave Lewis
Date: October 15, 2003


Category: Stories

The audiences captivated by the unique exploits of the titular anthropologist in the IMAX film Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees should derive plenty of listening pleasure from the film's soundtrack CD.

Jane Goodall herself opens the disc with a poetic speech about Africa, the jungle (her "secret garden") and the chimps. It perfectly sets the tone for what is to come. The excellent original score by Amin Behta and Johnny Clegg evokes the majesty of the African Savannah as well as the playfulness of the chimps. In addition to their work together, the disc features a number of solo tunes from the British-born, African-raised Clegg. Clegg (along with his bands Juluku and Savuka) was pivotal in bringing together European rock sensibilities and Afro-pop, in a vein similar to Graceland-era Paul Simon.

Rounding out the collection are Africa-inspired pop songs, including Canadian Bruce Cockburn's "Where Are All the Lions" (a minor hit in the U.S. in 1979) and Bonnie Raitt's soulful cover of "Hear Me Lord," a song originally performed by Zimbabwean singer Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi. The great Paul McCartney ends the disc with "Wild Life," a bluesy, somewhat lightweight track from his early days with Wings.

These are all fine artists, and popular enough to sell the CD on their own, but (to paraphrase Cockburn) where are all the Africans? Surely some local talent could have made the CD more diverse, and perhaps even stronger.

Another minor drawback of the soundtrack is that it is front-loaded with Clegg's pop tracks, while the majority of the score is located on the second half of the disc. Sequencing problems aside, the soundtrack for Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees is still a wild listen.

Click HERE to purchase the soundtrack from the BMZ Store!

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