Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dick Hyman, Various Artists - Soundtracks - 1999|
Sweet and Lowdown: Music from the Motion Picture
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Although Woody Allen has been using jazz from the '20s and '30s on his soundtracks since Sleeper, Sweet and Lowdown is his first movie featuring the musicians of the period. The story is about Emmett Ray, who is a brill... more »
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Although Woody Allen has been using jazz from the '20s and '30s on his soundtracks since Sleeper, Sweet and Lowdown is his first movie featuring the musicians of the period. The story is about Emmett Ray, who is a brilliant guitarist but is always being unfavorably compared to Django Reinhardt. Allen hired the guitarist Howard Alden and the Dick Hyman Group to play the music of Ray and his band, and they have done an excellent job of recreating the small band swing of the '30s. Alden has assimilated the music of such guitarists as Eddie Lang, Karl Kress, and Django to create a guitar style that is unique yet also sounds thoroughly authentic. He is the Zelig of guitar players. This music has all of the excitement of '30s jazz with none of the stodginess that sometimes plagues other jazz revivalists. --Michael Simmons
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S Buckingham | New Jersey | 05/22/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What a pleasure to see a movie featuring the hip early jazz guitar stylings of Howard Alden emulating greats Eddie Lang, Karl Kress, and of course Django. The soundtrack is a nice collection, but I was greatly disappointed that my favorite parts of the movie -- Emmett Ray's solo musings without a band -- were completely ignored. Some of Eddie lang's and Django's best recordings were sans band. Howard Alden's solo forays in the movie really mined that vein well (who can forget the "talent show" scene, or "I'm forever blowing bubbles" played by Emmett to his girlfriend), but are missing in action on this soundtrack. I give it 3 stars because the music is still good. I'd love, however, to see Howard Alden release a CD of solo pieces in the same style as he played in Sweet and Lowdown. Until then, I'll bide my time with the great new 5 CD Django anthology of Hot Club recordings with Stephane Grapelli (including some of the above-mentioned solo pieces) "Classic early Recordings in Chronological Order", which at less than $25 is an absolute steal!"
A great collection of period music
Ted Graham | 12/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This soundtrack exists quite independently of the film. Both, however, are excellent, although not all the music on the CD, I believe, was featured on screen. I personally like the renditions of "All of Me" and "It Don't Mean a Thing." There are a few tracks of actual period recordings, and numerous reorchestrations and rerecordings, done by Woody's longtime collaborator, Dick Hyman. This is 30's jazz at its best, as depicted by "Sweet and Lowdown.""
Not what I'd expected, but good
Charlotte Vale-Allen | CT USA | 10/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The soundtrack was such a key part of Allen's film, such an integral and immensely entertaining part of it that I bought the soundtrack--only to discover that the solos featured so prominently in the film are not included on the CD. That's a huge disappointment because they were, quite simply, wonderful.That said, guitarist Howard Alden and the others (notably the fine Bucky Pizzarelli on rhythm guitar and Kelly Friesen on bass) do a terrific job in replicating the music of the era. The selections are great: "I'll See You in My Dreams," "Just a Gigolo," and "Limehouse Blues" are all classics and very well done.The CD doesn't (because of the absence of those solos) have quite the impact of the actual music from the film but as a stand-alone item, for those who enjoy the sounds of the 30s, it's well worth having on its own merits.