Duke Ellington and Others: Melinda and Melinda (2005)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Woody Allen's new film Melinda and Melinda is an artful combination of comedy and drama, and the soundtrack likewise is a successful weaving of opposites. Allen combines toe-tapping jazz standards and classical music, the jazz cuts focused on pianists.
Allen's taste is impeccable: there are three cuts by Duke Ellington ("Take the A Train," "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," and "In a Mellow Tone"), three by Erroll Garner ("The Best Things in Life Are Free," "Somebody Stole My Gal," "Will You Still Be Mine?"), and three by Dick Hyman ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Love Me," and a medley that includes a lovely "Darn that Dream"). Plusand this is the dramatic partpieces by Stravinsky, Bartok, and Bach performed by the English Chamber Orchestra, the Shanghai Quartet, and Dick Hyman respectively. The producers sensibly put the classical cuts in the middle of the CD, and just as the movie segues seamlessly from light to dark, so does the soundtrack.
Everyone knows that Woody Allen loves jazz, but he's perhaps not given enough credit for his deep understanding of the music. Since he's a jazz musician himself, the soundtrack of Allen's life is jazz, and through his films he has been able to increase the music's exposure. So check out the film Melinda and Melinda, and chances are you'll want to hear its soundtrack again.
Track Listing: Take The 'A' Train; The Best Things In Life Are Free; Somebody Stole My Gal; I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart; Medley - Memories Of You/Moonglow/No Moon At All/Darn That Dream; Concerto in D For String Orchestra: 2. Arioso: Andantino; String Quartet No. 4; Prelude 2 Well Tempered Clavier; Love Me; Don't Get Around Much Anymore; In A Mellow Tone
Will You Still Be Mine?
Personnel: Duke Ellington and His Orchestra; Erroll Gardner, Dick Hyman, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Shanghai Quartet
Record Label: Milan Records