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The Cotton Club: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soundtracks
While director Francis Coppola's potboiling crime drama set against the gloriously tumultuous backdrop of Harlem's famed Cotton Club nightspot of the '20s and '30s didn't quite come together as a cinematic whole, John Barr... more »
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While director Francis Coppola's potboiling crime drama set against the gloriously tumultuous backdrop of Harlem's famed Cotton Club nightspot of the '20s and '30s didn't quite come together as a cinematic whole, John Barry's efforts at supervising, scoring, and recreating the energetic jive and wail of the era very nearly carry the day. The opportunity was likely a dream come true for the former jazzman turned film scorer; his adaptations of standards by Ellington and Cab Calloway are reverent yet energetic, infused by original music that weaves it into an accessible and rewarding tapestry of time, place, and art. So-so film, great soundtrack. --Jerry McCulley
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Tales Of The Jazz Age
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Francis Ford Coppola's $47 million crime drama was a failure at the box office, but it did produce this outstanding soundtrack from John Barry.
Barry - a former jazz artist turned movie scorer - captures the essence of the 1920s-1930s music scene in The Cotton Club through adapting standards from legends like Duke Ellington & Cab Calloway and using original songs.
Several of the song titles also capture the overt racism of the times. It must be remembered that The Cotton Club was a venue for blacks to perform, not to enter through the front door. The nightclub was designed for white patrons and - as the best, but not only, example - with it came all the degrading trappings for the female dancers and employees.
The soundtrack works so well because the songs are period pieces whose performances - and titles - are taken directly from the era. Unlike the movie, The Cotton Club: Original Movie Soundtrack actually does a great job in telling tales from the jazz age."