Anatomy of a Murder: From the Soundtrack of the Motion Picture (1959 Film) Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
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MP3 Music, April 27, 1999
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Classic film scores build on recurring motifs that identify characters and situations, amplifying their existence for the viewer through the sense of hearing. The "flirty bird" of the title - Lee Remick's Laura Manion - is evoked early on by a six-note phrase, with emotional hues that undergo dramatic changes every time it reappears along the score's course. "Way Early Subtone" expands on that phrase in a passionate, extended coda that tries to rekindle the flame; by the time of "Almost Cried," the melody has taken on a deep, hard-edged sadness.
The Ellington orchestra sounded exquisite in the early summer sessions that produced this soundtrack. With a burnished sonic brilliance reminiscent of the glorious 1940 "Blanton/Webster" edition of the band, and soloists like Johnny Hodges and Paul Gonsalves (whose masterful tenor saxophone solo on "Hero To Zero" is surrounded by some truly adventurous harmonies), Ellington's tightly woven soundtrack took on a life independent of its original context. In doing so, it became one of Duke's most satisfying albums.
--- Larry Nai, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz
Top Customer Reviews
After you see the movie and hear how the brash big band and intimate, mellow Ellington jazz illuminates the script, you can buy the CD and listen over and over. There are also stars playing the score: Ray Nance, Jimmy Hamilton, Johnny Hodges, Shorty Baker, among others, are all beautifully featured.
Movie fans as well as jazz fans will be very happy they bought this Ellington treasure. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
But it was with Preminger's 1959 courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Murder" that the "crime jazz" soundtrack really came to its full fruition. Whereas Bernstein and Mancini were classically-trained movie composers writing in the jazz genre, Ellington was one of jazz's true elder statesman, who had a refined interest in the classics, and his soundtrack for "Anatomy" is the most consummate of all jazz soundtracks, looking forward to Quincy Jones' backbeat scores. What Ellington brings at long last to the fore is the element of improvisation, which really gives the soundtrack an unpredictable bounce that works wonderfully vis-a-vis Wendell Mayes' unpredictable screenplay.
There are a number of listeners that regard Ellington as a fish out of water for this soundtrack, which they regard as a "nice attempt.Read more ›
All the same, it won't take long for even the casual Ellington fan to recognize the stamp of the Maestro and his "instrument"--from Duke's downward arpeggios to the inimitable tonal "voices" of Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves, Jimmy Hamilton, and Cat Anderson (doing for this film what Bernard Hermann's famously screeching violins do for the unforgettable shower scene in "Psycho").
Sony (Columbia) has obviously spent money on this budget-priced digital restoration--from the research to the program notes to the out-takes and interviews as well as the digital processing itself. I listened to the album during a long car trip, and from the number of times I was forced to adjust the volume, it would appear that Sony's engineers decided to do without "dynamics compression," or "normalization.Read more ›
The scores edge frames the scenes and adds a distinct emotion to what we are seeing on the screen. The unexpected in riffs shows up and puts the viewer on alert that what we are seeing on the screen is chaos, witty entendre, story editing in its pure form..and stark reality with or without those panties!( riske stuff in 1959)
What is the real truth also is that we are not drowned out by the decibel level of this music..there is no need ..because it is pure Ellington..and pure Ellington adds a sophistication and tone to the characters and story line. It wouldnt be untill the mid 60,s ( The Pawnbroker..Quincy Jones) , that a filmgoer could experience a dynamic score ...Bravo Ellington...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great sounds throughout. If you view the film the soundtrack is like one of the characters. Was very pleased with the soundtrack.
It was exactly what I expected.
Duke and his orchestra are in very good form on this soundtrack. It's well recorded, with sound quality like that of the better 1950s remasters. Read morePublished on September 24, 2012 by Tone In DC
Saw movie years ago. Empire Jazz Orchestra played some of the music at a concert. Ordered soundtrack. Great music stands the test of time.Published on December 13, 2011 by Peter J. Ryan
No, this is not the best Ellington album I've heard so far, but it's still top notch jazz orchestration... Read morePublished on November 11, 2009 by Nikica Gilic
If you are a fan of the movie get this film score... People sit here and write paragraph upon paragraph of tripe analyzing and re-analyzing structure, sound quality, composition,... Read morePublished on July 4, 2009 by Zy Klon
Over the years I've had a few copies of this on vinyl, both in mono and stereo. I picked up the CD for the bonus tracks and the convenience of having the album on CD. Read morePublished on October 2, 2008 by Chandler
This is easily one of the best jazz albums I've heard, and, as a jazz DJ, I've heard quite a few of them! Read morePublished on June 8, 2008 by Deborah
That guy who said this was the closest thing we have to a vernacular American symphony needs to spend more time outside of his comfort zone! Read morePublished on February 6, 2007 by jive rhapsodist
While I am no great fan of Duke Ellington's music, especially the stuff he created after 1950-52, this album is a jewel. Read morePublished on November 22, 2004 by Birdman