These track-by-track commentaries for Kenner and More Than a Miracle supplement the essay by John Bender found in the booklet accompanying FSM’s CD release of these scores. The online notes are also available as a PDF file for more convenient printing.

1. Theme From Kenner (Main Title)
As the opening titles unfold over an establishing shot of Bombay, a threatening introduction of trilling strings and timpani gives way to Piccioni’s love theme for Kenner (Jim Brown) and sitar-playing Hindu dancer Anasuya (Madlyn Rhue). An impressionistic long-lined melody voiced on strings, the tune aches with pure romance as well as tragedy, foreshadowing Anasuya’s fate.
2. Bombay/A Boy and His Cricket
Exotic, mysterious material for strings, vibraphone, harp and sitar underscores the appearance of a “Bombay” title card and plays through a transition to Anasuya’s apartment. As the dancer’s little boy, Saji (Ricky Cordell), awakens and greets his pet cricket—whom he believes to be the reincarnated soul of his uncle—Piccioni introduces his gently drifting “family” theme. The lush melody runs its course for Saji acknowledging a picture of his wayward American father hanging on the wall, and awakening his mother.
3. Saji Meets Kenner
Kenner arrives at Bombay’s harbor in his cargo boat. He intends to track down Tom Jordan (Charles Hovarth), a drug dealer who killed Kenner’s partner in Singapore. Before he leaves the boat, his shipmate Sandy (Prem Nath) begs him not to let hate drive his actions. Nasty, percussive jazz denotes the end of their testy interaction and continues as Kenner wanders the streets of Bombay. The cue’s dangerous air gives way to a suggestion of the family theme for little Saji eyeing a fancy pair of shoes through a store window; when the boy sees Kenner walk past, he asks the dismissive sailor if he knows his American father. Violent brass sounds as Kenner reacts, startled, to a lizard on a wall behind him. He brushes the creature away with his coat, thus knocking it onto a praying Indian.
4. Chase
The lizard incident results in an angry mob chasing Kenner and Saji through the streets of the city. Piccioni enhances the pursuit with a rambunctious, jazzy cue comprised of a tough saxophone riff, accented brass, exotic woodwinds and trilling strings. Saji earns Kenner’s trust when he helps the sailor ditch the mob by leading him to a hiding spot through a hole in a brick wall.
5. Kenner Shake
After Kenner gives Saji five dollars to thank him for his help, the boy tries to warn him that if he commits murder it will affect his karma. Portentous material for sitar, organ and percussion validates the boy’s words but Kenner ignores him and makes for the hole in the wall. In a subsequent montage, a funky bass line supports improvised jazz organ as the sailor searches for Jordan at the Merchant Seamen’s Association and a gymnasium. After the gym owner tells Kenner to try a nearby seamen’s club, he instructs an underling to inform the drug dealer that the sailor is looking for him. The cue subsides as Jordan arrives at the club.
6. At the Seamen’s Club
A mellow jazz piece plays as source music at the club, where Kenner questions a pool player. The cue continues as an old hand named Henderson (Robert Coote)—later revealed as an employee of the drug dealer—offers to help Kenner find Jordan.
7. At the Seamen’s Club—Part Two
A second jazzy source cue plays as Kenner and Henderson exit the club. One of Jordan’s henchmen watches them leave and proceeds to update the drug dealer by telephone.
8. Saji Remembers His Father
Saji uses the money Kenner gave him to buy the fancy dress shoes; he shows them to his mother and says that he will wear them when they reunite with his father in America. He asks for his father’s address so that he can send him a letter, but Anasuya lies, claiming that she cannot remember it. Piccioni provides a bittersweet reprise of the family theme for the uncomfortable exchange between mother and son. The melody continues after she leaves for work, as Saji takes solace with his cricket and resolves to learn the address by taking to the streets with his father’s picture.
9. Drugged
Henderson takes Kenner to the Shalimar Club, where he gives him a drugged drink. (Inside the club, a small combo plays “Don’t Blame Me” by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields—a source cue not on this disc). The poison takes effect while the two men ride back to Kenner’s boat in a horse-drawn carriage; a textural array of trills, timpani, sitar, tinkling piano and sporadic percussion enhances Kenner’s blurry POV shots.
The scene switches to Kenner’s boat, where a wandering bass line underscores shipmate Sandy’s arrival with groceries. The score erupts into percussive chaos when two assassins sent by Jordan to kill Kenner mistakenly murder Sandy instead.
Kenner Pursues Saji
Back in the carriage (stuck in traffic waiting for a procession of sacred cows to cross the street), Saji joins Henderson and the still-drugged Kenner. The boy is crushed when Henderson callously points out that the photo of his father that his mother gave him is nothing more than an old cigarette ad from a magazine. A short but urgent development of the family theme plays as Saji runs from the carriage with Kenner in pursuit. A concoction of off-kilter, prickly jazz underscores the sailor becoming increasingly delirious as Henderson follows him into an outdoor laundry center. Kenner eventually collapses into a heap of clothes and loses Henderson.
10. Saji Refuses the New Shoes
Piccioni reprises the family theme when Anasuya returns home to find Saji in bed. The cue takes a dire, fateful turn when she sees his fancy shoes stuffed in a wastebasket along with the photo of his “father,” torn to shreds.
Truth About Saji’s Father Revealed
Troubled developments of the family theme sound as she explains herself to Saji: his father, an American Naval officer, abandoned her without marrying her so now, to her, he is dead.
Saji Escapes
Strings take up a dramatic, wavering whole-step motive as Saji resolves to find his father and runs out of the apartment. A rich setting of the family theme swells as she follows him outside—but he is already too far away. The cue settles threateningly as Anasuya’s neighbors eye her with disapproval.
11. Night Ambush and Escape
A moody jazz bass line and ethnic percussion underscore Kenner awakening in the deserted laundry center at night. The film transitions to Kenner arriving at his boat; when Jordan’s assassins ambush the sailor, Piccioni introduces a distressed, chordal motive on strings and brass over a fitful rhythm section. The sailor overcomes his assailants but Jordan appears and sucker-punches him, giving the assassins the upper hand. The distressed motive alternates with low-key suspense as Jordan brutalizes Kenner. The sailor manages to break free and dives into the sea, the cue subsiding with atmospheric rippling for piano as the villains search for him in the immediate area.
12. Saji and Anasuya Visit Injured Kenner
After police scare away Jordan and his associates, Saji discovers the severely injured Kenner climbing back onto his boat. The boy fetches his mother to help. A passage of cautious impressionism features shimmering strings and wandering flute as they arrive at the boat and discover the sailor lying in bed.
Piccioni develops the family theme as Anasuya offers to find a doctor for Kenner. The sailor declines, but passes out when he attempts to get out of bed.
Kenner’s Nightmare
Nauseous strings and woodwinds swirl through his subsequent nightmare, which consists of footage of crashing waves and a repeating voiceover of Kenner vowing to kill Jordan. The cue brightens with tremolo strings and flute as Kenner awakens in Anasuya’s apartment. Still disoriented from the night before, he takes in his surroundings accompanied by unsettling upper-register piano, sitar and percussion.
13. Kenner Wakes Up and Remembers
Anasuya arrives at the apartment, a dreamy arrangement of the love theme sounding as she tends to Kenner. The two are properly introduced and take an instant liking to one another.
The composer reprises the wavering whole step motive from “Saji Escapes” when the boy questions Kenner about Jordan (he overheard the sailor talking in his sleep). The family theme unfolds with dangerous interruptions between phrases when Kenner dismisses the boy and lies lost in thought.
At night, before Anasuya leaves for work, she has an intimate conversation with Kenner. The love theme plays as they discuss their jobs and their families, or lack thereof. (A short transitional cue for sitar and tremolo strings can be heard as she gets into a car—presumably taking her to work—but it is not included on this CD.)
14. Unused Jazz
This smoky source jazz does not appear in the film (possibly due to deleted footage).
Anasuya Comes Back Home
Piccioni reprises the nocturnal, mysterious material from “Bombay” for Kenner peering through Anasuya’s window. Portentous strings signal her return from work the following morning, her neighbors eyeing her with disdain once more. The finished film added a sitar overlay (not heard on this CD).
A New Day for Kenner
The family theme offers comfort as she reaches her front door, the material reaching a sumptuous conclusion on a dissolve to Kenner, Anasuya and Saji enjoying a walk on the beach.
15. Happiness
A montage features Kenner, Anasuya and Saji taking a carriage ride through the city. (A short rhythmic and percussive cue underscoring Kenner running toward the carriage—which he perhaps suspects carries his “friend,” Henderson—is tracked in from the later “Chase” cue, track 19.) Piccioni captures their joy with a warm setting of the family theme for strings adorned with chirping woodwind lines. The love theme closes the cue as they disembark the carriage.
16. A Beautiful Day
The “Bombay” material sounds when Kenner asks Anasuya to close her eyes so that he can lead her to a surprise: The film segues to a jewelry shop, where he fits her with an extravagant gold necklace, marked by a delicate setting of the love theme. The melody continues to unfold through another transition to the “family” arriving at a temple. After an unscored prayer scene inside the temple, both the family and love themes underscore Anasuya telling Kenner the romantic story of how she met her husband. Before Kenner can kiss her, Saji interrupts him, wanting to show him a painted cow.
17. Happiness (Reprise)
After Anasuya tells Kenner the story of how she met her husband, the family theme plays as they take a carriage ride home with Saji. (A reprise of the love theme that plays as she prepares to go to work is not on this CD.)
18. Love Scene
Kenner and Saji follow Anasuya to work, where they discover that she is not only a dancer but also a prostitute. (Prem Dhawan composed the ethnic music for her dance—not included on this CD.) After Kenner rescues her from a potentially violent customer, soothing impressionism marks a transition to the woods surrounding a nearby beach. As Saji sleeps on the ground, Kenner and Anasuya reveal their feelings for one another, accompanied by a pure setting of the love theme. The wavering whole-step motive provides tension when Anasuya worries that the men who attacked Kenner will eventually kill him. Piccioni reprises the impressionistic string and flute material from “Saji and Anasuya Visit Kenner” for the sailor explaining how Jordan murdered his partner, justifying his need for revenge. The love theme returns as he kisses Anasuya, with the tune proceeding through a romantic montage of crashing waves. After a transition to morning, the melody concludes as Kenner watches Anasuya and Saji pray on the beach.
19. Chase and Death of Anasuya
When Saji spots Jordan buying a cricket cage from a street vendor, tremolo strings swell into a savage passage of bustling brass and slicing strings for Kenner chasing the villain through the crowded city. Seething sustains interrupt the propulsive material when Jordan accidentally drops his cricket cage, which Saji retrieves. The love theme comes to the fore, straining as Anasuya trails behind Kenner, who follows Jordan into a railroad yard. The cue escalates with a rising stepwise figure, climaxing when a train hits Anasuya. The love theme underscores the horrified reactions of Kenner and Saji.
20. Anasuya’s Ashes
After the cremation of Anasuya’s body on the beach, Kenner watches from afar as Saji, attended by two nuns from his school, pours her ashes into the sea. A poignant development of the family theme features solo violin when the boy leaves the nuns behind and runs to join Kenner.
21. Remembering Anasuya
The mysterious “Bombay” material gives way to the love theme as Kenner wanders through Anasuya’s apartment, mourning his lost love. The theme subsides as Saji reveals that he has retrieved Jordan’s cage, leading Kenner to realize that the villain bets on cricket fights (battles between insects, not the traditional English sport).
22. Shanghai Café
Cool source jazz plays at a café where Kenner and Saji attend an illegal cricket fight in hopes of finding Jordan. Only about 0:50 of the cue appears in the film.
23. Hot Pursuit
Kenner finds Jordan in the crowd of gamblers gathered around the cricket fight. The villain sees the sailor approach him and runs, with taunting strings and swelling brass sounding as Kenner dispatches Henderson and another henchman. Piccioni reprises action material from “Chase” (track 4) as the sailor pursues Jordan through the city and into an empty auditorium; the film intersperses footage of Saji following with shots of the foot chase. When Jordan eventually loses Kenner on the roof of the auditorium, subdued suspense material underscores the sailor hunting for Jordan until the villain lunges for him with a wooden club. The chordal motive from “Night Ambush and Escape” returns as they grapple with one another, the music escalating when Kenner gains the upper hand and begins to strangle Jordan. A fateful rendition of the family theme sounds when Saji arrives on the roof and implores Kenner not to kill the drug dealer for the sake of his karma. Kenner initially ignores his plea and the boy walks off dejectedly. The finished film dials out a final bitter reading of the family theme (at 4:12) for Kenner reconsidering and releasing Jordan from his death grip.
24. Kenner and Saji Reunited (Finale)
After Kenner releases Jordan, he runs to catch up with Saji. When he informs the boy that he spared the drug dealer’s life, the family theme swells while the two friends joyously embrace.
End Title
The film transitions to the harbor, where Saji and his caretaker, Mother Superior (Sulochana), join Kenner; she presents the sailor with Anasuya’s sitar, acknowledged by an aching rendition of the family theme. Piccioni continues to develop the melody as Kenner and Saji sail from the harbor, until the love theme resurfaces on flute and strings for a white dove that flies into the bridge and lands on top of the sitar. Saji immediately identifies the bird as the reincarnation of his mother, with Kenner smiling in agreement. The love theme reaches a grandiose conclusion for the “End” title card, after which the closing credits play over a lush arrangement of the family theme.

Bonus Tracks

25. Love Theme (Introduction)
This introduction to the love theme features the mysterious material heard in “Bombay.”
26. Indian Music (Sitar)
The film tracks this piece of sitar music into various scenes as source material.
27. Love Theme
The love theme receives a pure reading in this standalone arrangement.
28. Kenner Shake (long version)
Piccioni recorded an extended rendition of this jazz cue for the early montage of Kenner searching Bombay for Jordan.
29. Chase and Death of Anasuya (alternate version)
This take of “Chase and Death of Anasuya” features some alternate orchestration—eschewing, for example, the prominent bass clarinet of the film version.
30. At the Seaman’s Club (alternate version)
A different improvised piano part characterizes this alternate rendition of the club source jazz piece.
31. At The Seaman’s Club—Part Two (alternate mix)
This track is an alternate mix of the club source music.
32. Love Theme
This cue spotlights the love theme before moving into the climactic material from “Chase and Death of Anasuya.” —