Various: Swing In The Films Of Woody Allen

A collection of tracks included in Woody Allen's films, not all swing by any means, indifferently planned and negligently assembled


No doubt this is aimed at those of us who hang about at the end of a Woody Allen movie, getting in people’s way as the credits roll. All those tasty little bursts of music that are gone before you can place them? Here are 21 to enjoy at full length. It’s a nice idea, but it fails because it doesn’t live up to its title.

Woody Allen certainly shoe-horns an amazing amount of jazz into his films, but even he has to make music fit the story line, hence Carmen Cavallaro’s gooey version of Manhattan here and the appalling Charleston City All Stars (whoever they were). And do we really need Dooley Wilson’s As Time Goes By yet again, or Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade?

On the other hand, there’s Tatum and Webster at their characteristic best, some very tasty Red Garland and vintage Ellington. Surely, the thing to do would have been to go for 21 good swing tracks that happen to have turned up in Woody Allen films. That way you get an attractive selection that will be played for years.

But maybe they didn’t care. They certainly didn’t listen to the music very carefully. If they had, they wouldn’t have labelled Lester Young’s I Can’t Get Started as by him and Oscar Peterson. There’s no piano to be heard in the accompaniment, just Barney Kessel’s guitar and Ray Brown’s bass. 

This album is appears to be a cut-down version of an equally disappointing triple CD set that came out a while ago on Triangle Records.

Si Tu Vois Ma Mere [Sidney Bechet]; Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year [Red Garland]; As Time Goes By [Dooley Wilson]; My Ideal [Art Tatum, Ben Webster]; If I Had You [Benny Goodman]; Sleepy Lagoon [Tommy Dorsey]; I Got Rhythm [Teddy Wilson]; Liebestraum [Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli]; I’ve Heard That Song Before [Harry James, Helen Forrest]; Manhattan [Carmen Cavellaro]; I Can’t Get Started [Lester Young]; The Way You Look Tonight [Erroll Garner]; Take Five [Dave Brubeck]; Moonlight Serenade [Glenn Miller]; Out Of Nowhere [Coleman Hawkins]; I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart [Duke Ellington]; In A Persian Market [Wilbur de Paris]; The Flight Of The Bumblebee [Harry James]; Ain’t We Got Fun [Charleston City All Stars]; Let’s Misbehave [Irving Aaronson & the Ccommanders]; Misty [Erroll Garner] (75.12)
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