|1.||I'll See You in My Dreams|
|3.||Sweet Georgia Brown|
|6.||Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (and Dream Your Troubles Away)|
|8.||Limehouse Blues / Mystery Pacific|
|9.||Just a Gigolo|
|10.||3:00 AM Blues|
|11.||All of Me / The Peanut Vendor|
|12.||It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing)|
|14.||I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles|
|15.||There'll Be Some Changes Made|
|Track lengths not available for this album. If you have track length/time information for this album, please e-mail it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to the database.|
|by Matthew Sheby
on December 2nd, 2004
If you haven't seen Sweet and Lowdown, don't tell me that. I'll smack you upside the head. (If you're pretty, I'll just invite you back to my place to watch it.) This movie was one of the best of 1999 - much better than The Phantom Menace. Plus, Samantha Morton is quite attractive. The film has an excellent soundtrack. Let's dive in, shall we?
Woody Allen performed magnificently as a producer when he assembled musicians to play the music of "the world's second greatest guitarist," the character played by Sean Penn. The Dick Hyman Group, featuring Howard Alden on lead guitar and Bucky Pizzarelli on rhythm guitar, plays brilliantly throughout the film's soundtrack. Their guitar work is appropriately wondrous and amazing. Some examples of Alden in action can be found with "I'll See You In My Dreams" and "Sweet Georgia Brown", both up-tempo pieces that bring drive and energy to the movie. His performance is amazing during "Limehouse Blues/Mystery Pacific." The utter speed and flawless nature in Alden's and Pizzarelli's execution are a wonder to hear.
Lovers of Dixieland jazz will appreciate "Old-Fashioned Love." The combo expanded to seven performers, and everyone gets his turn in the spotlight with a great solo. Sure, the bass is upright and not generated by a Roland keyboard, but the fast songs really make you want to get up, grab a lady, and shake your groove thang (or whatever was shaken when people danced during Prohibition). Another swinging tune can found in "All of Me," highlighting the pure tones of Carol Woods' voice.
To Woody Allen's credit, one of the best swing standards of all time is included on the soundtrack. "It Don't Mean a Thing" is played, well, swingingly. All them Gap commercial dancers would have a field day with this rendition. Big ups to Byron Stripling on trumpet and Joel Helleny on 'bone. Damn fine playing all-around. With "There'll Be Some Changes Made," the album's final song, Ted Sommer is permitted to show off his drumming skills.
Both "Unfaithful Woman" and "3:00 AM Blues", original songs composed by Dick Hyman, slow down the pace with contemplation and introspection, but not without respectable musical and technical flourishes by the artists. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" is a beautiful romantic ballad. "Just a Gigolo," a condition oft asserted by jealous types about SoundtrackNet writers, is a soft and thoughtful tune that deserves repeated listening. "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles," something thought by SoundtrackNet writers while reading editors' comments, presents a quick but laid-back (seemingly a contradiction) melody and the mighty fine playing of Ken Peplowski on clarinet.
Two songs on the album were not performed by the Dick Hyman Group. The first is Ellington's "Caravan," performed by Benny Berigan and His Orchestra, which is a mystical big-band number with clarinet and muted trumpet carrying the melody. The song gives the feel of an exotic land, in the sense of an old 30's reel (probably the analog hiss in the background). The second one is "Viper Mad," as performed by Sidney Bechet and Noble Sissie's Swingsters. Sidney sings, "Good tea is my weakness. / I know it's bad." Huh? Is this a marijuana reference? Let us know what you think.
This soundtrack is very impressive and is a "must-have" for jazz aficionados. The album's only weakness is that it seemingly caters only to lovers of jazz. If you're a fan of brilliantly performed music of any genre, pick up this CD. It's getting four-and-one-half stars out of five. Remember: Samantha Morton is a cutie.
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