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Sweet and Lowdown: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, November 23, 1999
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$19.95
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$19.95 + $3.99 shipping Only 1 left in stock. Ships from and sold by character1st.

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Sweet and Lowdown: Music from the Motion Picture + Sweet and Lowdown (Fullscreen)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

1. I'll See You In My Dreams
2. Caravan - Bunny Berigan & His Orchestra
3. Sweet Georgia Brown
4. Unfaithful Woman
5. Viper Mad - Sidney Bechet And Noble Sissle's Swingsters
6. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)
7. Old-Fashioned Love
8. Limehouse Blues/Mystery Pacific
9. Just A Gigolo
10. 3:00 A.M. Blues
11. All Of Me/The Peanut Vendor
12. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
13. Shine
14. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
15. There'll Be Some Changes Made

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Alliance
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • ASIN: B000034D03
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By S Buckingham on May 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
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!
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Ted Graham on December 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
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."
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marcelo Teson on April 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The soundtrack as well as the film are excellent, especially for Django afficionados who want to hear more of the "hot music" style of the era. The only flaw I find is that the beautiful solo chorale so important to the film (the one that Emmett plays for Hattie all the time, which is also the last one he plays before the ending) is not on this CD. Instead we get a different, faster, full quintet version of the same song ("I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles") that's almost a cruel tease. Despite that one amazingly large hole, this CD is spectacular.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Vale-Allen VINE VOICE on October 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
Recommended.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Martin Steele on February 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My brother had seen the movie Sweet and Lowdown and immediately phoned me and said, The music in this movie is right up your street. How right he was. I purchased the CD the same day from Amazon, have the CD for about ten days and have been playing it every day since the CD arrived. I will go and see the movie for a second time mainly to hear the music and portrayal by Sean Penn of Emmet Ray. It is one of the happiest CD/Recordings I have heard in a long time. I play the recordings first thing every morning to put me on the right track; my sister just phoned me and asked, What is that great music in the background. I have just ordered a second copy for her. Next I'll be tap dancing!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I find it almost impossible not to enjoy this disc. I went straight to my computer, after watching the movie and ordered the soundtrack, (where else but on Amazon). While the music may not impress the real Djangophiles of the world, it does capture the sheer joy of well played swing guitar. I hear almost as much Charlie Christen and early Les Paul in the sound as I do Django. As a matter of fact, this soundtrack has reawakened me to the music of Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, Les Paul and another great; Chet Atkins. Unfortunately, I learned only last night that Chet Atkins has passed on.
One final recommendation....a recording that has been long, long out-of-print...and another wonderful tribute to Django...."Nuages" By a French guitar quartet called The Guitars Unlimited. It was released on Columbia around 1970 or 71. Just four hot, hot, swinging...I mean HOT & SWINGING electric guitars, playing the beautiful songs familiar to the world reknown Django Reinhardt and his Hot Club du Paris. Please if anyone has seen it out there....first BUY IT FOR YOURSELF!....Then post a review. Until then I'll continue to enjoy this disc and picture Sean Penn playing his ass off in Sweet and Lowdown. Kudos to Woody for another great soundtrack.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By peter a. dattilo on March 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the best Jazz recordings that have been put together to represent the 1930's era. It doesn't have the spontaneity that one would find if you were listening in one of the long gone jazz clubs of that time, but Dick Hyman has brought together Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli, etc. so that the musicianship gives you a mental picture of being "there"....All the solos and ensemble playing are pure joy.....Ithink I know this era in music with other last survivors, if there was another star to give, this would get it
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