Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone (Sony Classical): For once, the promotional sticker on the CD cover is totally accurate: "A Stunning Collection of Classic Film Scores." For those bemoaning the dearth of contemporary classical composers, it's Ennio Morricone to the rescue. From his wistful, heart-wrenching score for "Cinema Paradiso" to the epic spaghetti-western sounds behind "The Good, the Bad and The Ugly," Morricone's music is familiar worldwide, even if his name may not be. The pairing of Yo Yo Ma with the maestro of cinema is inspired, and the result is a modern classic in every sense of the word. By John Kehe


Peter Cincotti - On the Moon (Concord Records): When Peter Cincotti sings, the jazz hipster swings, he bops, and he grooves. Under his command, the piano keys sizzle. On his second album, the 21-year-old crooner brandishes not only versatility, but an ability to harness a broad range of jazz styles and filter them all through his own modish, modern sensibilities. His velvety voice is reminiscent of early Sinatra, whether he's conjuring Ray Charles's soul on "You Don't Know Me" or Chet Baker's rhythmic melancholy on Cole Porter's "I Love Paris." But Cincotti's reach exceeds his grasp on some ballads, which have a mawkish, new-age ring, or when he takes Rogers and Hammerstein's "Bali Ha'i" and swaths it in the bland, drippy sound of smooth jazz. By Liza S. Weisstuch


David Holmes - "Ocean's Twelve" (Warner Bros.): David Holmes may label himself a "nonmusician" because he doesn't play an instrument, but the Irish DJ has a composer's ear for melody and arrangement. For this soundtrack, Holmes has rummaged through a storehouse of vinyl to cut and paste obscure samples to create dazzling collages. But where the previous score was heavy on Vegas kitsch, this one blends 1970s Europop with trilling dulcimers, skittish breakbeats, and saxophone sirens to create pieces reminiscent of old spy movies and TV cop shows. On "7/29/04," for example, a stuttering wah-wah guitar is suddenly ambushed by a Harlem horn section. It's heady stuff. This is a collection of music that stands on its own even without the movie. By Stephen Humphries

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