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The Cotton Club: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Import, Original recording reissued, Soundtrack


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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, September 23, 1997
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: December 14, 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued, Soundtrack
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • ASIN: B000000OXV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,566 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Mooche
2. Cotton Club Stomp #2
3. Drop Me Off In Harlem
4. Creole Love Call
5. Ring Dem Bells
6. East St. Louis Toodle-O
7. Truckin'
8. ILL Wind
9. Cotton Club Stomp #1
10. Mood Indigo
11. Minnie The Moocher
12. Copper Colored Gal
13. Dixie Kidnaps Vera
14. The Depression Hits / Best Beats Sandman
15. Daybreak Express Medley

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

I wake up to it every morning.
"drrbr"
The music is lively, vibrant and takes one back to the era of jazz!
Wendy
All of the music from the movie is great.
Dudley Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Karen P. Smith on November 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
What a relief to hear so much of the instrumental music in the glorious score of "The Cotton Club" without the annoying cutoffs of the songs, and cutaways from the performers to the often-gory and sometimes-boring "story!" I own the Video of the film and have watched it many times, skipping from one musical number to another, feeling frustrated that I can't hear the MUSIC the way it was meant to be heard. I mean, those musicians were knocking themselves out to please the listeners and dancers and I thought the movie wasted their talents by putting them in the background so much of the time.
Like other reviewers here, I am mightily impressed by the faithfulness of the arrangements of songs created by some of the greats--Arlen and Ellington, in particular. The excellence of the music's realization truly comes through on the CD.
The vocal productions frequently do not match the high level of the instrumental work, but it is wonderful to hear all the lyrics of so many classics of the "Cotton Club" era. And, Gregory Hines's rendition of "Copper Colored Gal" is a special treat for those of us who love his singing even when we can't watch his dancing!
Overall, I'd say "The Cotton Club" Soundtrack CD is a welcome addition to any collection of original Elligton and Calloway tunes. I also think the CD can provide a terrific introduction of the music to anyone who hasn't been fortunate enough to discover it yet. I only wish the CD contained more of it.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "drrbr" on April 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Where else can you hear the earliest Ellington stuff recorded with today's recording technique? with today's best studio musicians nailing it? The band is hot, the music swings, big time, everyhing's right, musically, historically, and the recording technically. Too bad the CD version didn't get the rest of the soundtrack as bonus tracks. This is a wonderful musical experience, every time. My only reservation is its brevity. If you love the sound of early/1920s-1930s jazz, and enjoy listening to it in spite of the sad quality of recordings from that era, this modern version of Cotton Club Ellington is heaven. I wake up to it every morning.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The soundtrack to the troubled 1984 movie is interesting because of the recreations of Jazz Age hits by Duke Ellington and company. However, only about half the music from the film made it onto the 45 minute soundtrack. Too bad because there are some real gems performed in the movie and the first-rate performances can only be experienced while watching them and not by listening to their entirety on the CD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew G. Sherwin HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The CD soundtrack from the movie The Cotton Club delivers quite a punch; with music by greats like Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen and Cab Calloway you just can't go wrong. This CD brings back memories of the film I watched a few months ago as well as the days when I used to sneak into my mother's closet, pull out her old 78s and listen to them on the record player all by myself. Only this time around the music sounds clearer than ever before thanks to digital remastering and clever musical arrangements by Bob Wilber, Sy Johnson, David Berger and Randy Sandke. Wonderful!

The CD track set opens with "The Mooche" by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills. The arrangement uses the horns to create a dramatic and haunting effect for this instrumental number. The temple blocks played by Chuck Riggs serve to highlight the beat of the number. "The Mooche" is followed by "Cotton Club Stomp #2;" this number moves much, much faster but the music by Duke Ellington makes it shine no matter what.

"Creole Love Call" features the haunting cries of Priscilla Baskerville; with the horns so well done you won't forget this number soon.

One of the most beautiful ballads on this CD is "Ill Wind" written by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen. Lonette McKee sings "Ill Wind" with all her heart and might; and her voice imparts a sense of intimacy to the listener that I rarely experience. Lonette sings this to perfection!

"Minnie The Moocher" has that "vamp-like 1920s" beat from the 1920s and 1930s; Cab Calloway and Irving Mills weave a routine straw-like number into solid gold. Larry Marshall sings this song with panache and he also uses his voice to express the romantic experiences of "Minnie The Moocher." The chorus does a great job of backing Larry up as well.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on February 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
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.
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