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Catch Me If You Can Soundtrack

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Jan 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B00007BKUE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 169,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Catch Me If You Can
2. The Float
3. Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra
4. Recollections (The Father's Theme)
5. The Airport Scene
6. The Girl From Ipanema -Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto feat. Antonio Carlos Jobim
7. Learning The Ropes
8. Father And Son
9. Embraceable You - Judy Garland
10. The Flash Comics Clue
11. Deadheading
12. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
13. A Broken Home
14. Doctor, Lawyer, Lutheran
15. The Look Of Love - Dusty Springfield
16. Catch Me If You Can (Reprise and End Credits)

Product Description


Catch Me If You Can is the 19th John Williams and Steven Spielberg feature collaboration, for which the composer has combined progressive jazz influences with the Philip Glass style minimalism he first explored for the director's A.I.. The result is a unique and compelling blend, with the cool sax of Dan Higgins insinuating itself like a question mark through such otherwise sunlit set pieces as "The Float"'. Elsewhere, the vibes of Alan Estes are used to equally strong effect and though the jazz melodies sound improvised, every note was written to complement the most sophisticated and elegant orchestrations to grace a Hollywood film for some considerable time.

"Recollections (The Father's Theme)" is a beautiful, introspective number developed from the score and intended as a future concert piece. The main theme and its variations are filled with effortless charm. The only drawback is that some may find the melodic material just a little too similar to that in A.I.. Five songs are interspersed among the score tracks, with Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me" and Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love" (originally from the 1967 Bond spoof Casino Royale) especially complementing Williams' highly engaging soundtrack. --Gary S. Dalkin

BBC Review

You may not know his name, but you can probably hum at least five of his works. John Williams, Steven Spielberg's musical collaborator on 20 films is the man responsible for works as seminal as the ET flying theme, the menacing Jaws bars and the Star Wars music. Fresh from scores for AI and Minority Report, Williams produces something altogether lighter for Spielberg's 1960s tale of a baby-faced codologist, Catch Me If You Can.

Reflecting the aspirational times in which the film is set, Williams has put together a progressive jazz score which is classy, catchy and consummately professional. The eponymous title-track is a slippery little number, sax and bass chasing each other in helter-skelter pursuit. The melodic repertoire is incredibly simple. Only a few musical themes of five notes or less lay the scores foundations, and make for more of the irresistibly memorable theme tunes of which Williams is the maestro.

In our post-September 11 era, the idea of a conman posing as a pilot, doctor or lawyer has disturbing resonances. But the soundtrack, like the film, lingers on the light-hearted, with that classic Hollywood leitmotif the feel-good glockenspiel riff making inevitable appearances. Only in pieces about the relationship between Frank Abagnale Jr. and Sr. does a hint of something unhappier emerge. In "Recollections" and "Father and Son", a morose, rambling sax gestures at chasms beneath the mellow surface.

Retro-tracks selected for the album capture the period's cheesy brand of glamour. There are the usual, overworked clichés such as Sinatra inviting us to fly with him and Nat King Cole's chestnuts on an open fire. But gems such as Judy Garland's "Embraceable You" and the original, wistful "Girl from Ipanema" still have a lot of life left and it is a joy to hear them here.

This may not be the most innovative album you've ever heard. But as an example of popular soundtrack craftsmanship at its finest, it's a masterclass. --Morag Reavley

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Juan Iglesias on 20 Oct 2005
Format: Audio CD
Catch Me If You Can is a surprise from both Spielberg and Williams. As collaborators, they truly are a par above everybody else and it is obvious they love to challenge each other in departing from their established styles. Comprised entirely of Jazz, this score is both humorous and touching and even magical at times. The title track is an absolute gem: a truly addictive piece of comic jazz that sounds every bit 'cat and mouse' as the story it describes. 'Recollections' is a very blue piece, describing Frank Abagnale Jr's Father and his troubled home life and it never fails to grab you with its sadness. Finally, there is a theme for Frank's con-man antics that is wonderfully adventurous and at times sounds a little like Hook (due to its Tinkerbell-ish quality). This theme, however (first featured in track 'The Float'), does feature in some way or another on most of the tracks and can be a little repetitive. Add to that brief snippets of chase music and a 'Christmas' quality and you have a delightful CD indeed. It is insulting to think that after such an illustrious career, John Williams scores are still sharing discs with popular songs and aside from Sinatra's 'Come fly With Me' and Nat King Cole's 'Christmas Song', this disc could have done without the rest. All in all, it's an enjoyable affair, so don't let the short running time (about 40 mins of score) dissuade you: get this and experience the diversity of John Williams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Quigley on 10 Nov 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When watching this film, it was only with the end credits that the title theme caught my ear, and impressed me enough to seek out a copy of the full soundtrack. This is not "vintage" John Williams, with bold, powerful themes a la Star Wars or Jurassic Park. The title is decidedly rooted in the sound of the 50's and 60's and almost "Mancini-esque", evocative of the jazz idioms that were so pervasive at the time the film is set. It is quite unlike most of his other scores, and perhaps more interesting for that reason. Set along side real sounds from the era ("The Girl from Ipanema," "Embraceable You" and "The Look of Love," Williams music is the perfect accompaniment for a dry martini.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "aaron_taylor13" on 10 Feb 2003
Format: Audio CD
Well, I have to say that this music was (in a nutshell) NOT what I expected. Knowing that John Williams had a jazz past I knew he could provide the goods but I have recently not been over keen on Spielberg films believing that he restricted the composer to some rather mediocre material by his choice of storyline. Well Mr Spielberg you have redeemed yourself...what Williams conjures up for this film is outstanding. Certainly he has drawn on his roots and used them effectively.
There are really only a few drawbacks; certainly fans of John William's grandeur style will miss his prominent brass tunes and harmonies and there seems to be very little thematic use and development in this soundtrack, certainly compared to Williams' usual outstanding use of themes to carry the story across. But sit back and listen to a different kind of masterpiece, the sax solos alone are worth listening to...all intricately penned by Williams although sounding improvised.
So, anyone who is a fan of John Williams, or Jazz in general, try this soundtrack. It may not be quite what you expect but it IS worth it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A different side of John Williams 13 Dec 2002
By E. Banson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you listen to many of John Williams' memorable themes and scores, it's amazing to know that the guy started out as a jazz musician. With his score for "Catch Me If You Can," he gets a chance to bring out that side of him with this slick, jazzy and infectious score. One drawback is it does lacks the true William's signature: The memorable melody. It's likely due to the fact that Williams and Spielberg have a film set in an era (or begins in an era) that was musically into jazz styles like Cool and Be-Bop; styles that were driven more on dissonance and broken melodies created by improvised riffs. It only seems fitting to incorporate those styles to accompany the film. Nevertheless, the arrangements and orchestrations are top-notch. Even Spielberg points out on the liner notes that we "may swear that the E flat sax solo was improvised, but John wrote every single note of it."
With that, this score is riddled with the sound of a saxophone. There might even be credit to what Spielberg wrote: the saxophone solos do sound improvised. It seems Williams uses the saxophone in the score to parallel the main character Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio)who is an amazing imposter. Because like an imposter, his every move may sound and appear improvised, but underneath the veneer, every move (or every note) is calculated.
There are three themes in this score. The main theme here is aptly titled Catch Me If You Can, a minimalist piece that consist of vibes, xlyophones and woodwinds written in an offbeat time signature. The second is an upbeat 4/4 progressive motif with staccato strings and alto saxophone riffs that reminds me of William's own "Home Alone" scores and Howard Shore's "Mrs. Doubtfire" score. This theme is present in "The Float" and "Doctor, Lawyer, Lutheran." The third is a five minute concert piece entitled "Recollections (The Father's Theme) which showcases the saxophone and xlyophone again. A slow, haunting piece. It harkens Gabriel Yared's work for "The Talented Mr. Ripley," which is another film about an imposter.
The songs are great in this CD and it's amazing how they somehow interweave with the score which is a plus.
Overall, the score stands out from previous Williams work because it's his most daring and youthful score in my opinion, sounding like nothing he's written before. Unfortunately though, a few moments in the score sound like other composers which is another reason why I gave it four out of five stars. Thankfully, it's only in a few moments in the score. "Catch Me If You Can" proves that John Williams is a versatile film composer who still delivers the goods.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Score 15 Dec 2002
By Peter Kline - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
John Williams goes back to his roots. In the early 50s he issued a bunch of albums conducting a big band. Yes, he arranged them and played piano. This jazzy and fun score reminds one of the best of Henry Mancini. Add standards by Nat Cole, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland among others and this CD perfectly catches the feeling of the time period that the film takes place in. Williams' best score in a long time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
John Williams and his ever changing music 30 Dec 2002
By Pamela K Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This score, like most of John William's music, is strickingly different than the ones before. William's ability to dabble in different musical forms is decidedly one of his greatest strengths, along with his ability to follow the pace of the movie. If you happen to simply be a fan of William's, I think you'll enjoy this bit. It's very light, entertaining, and enjoyable. A very happy bit, indeed. Don't expect it to be like Star Wars, but expect to enjoy it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
OSCAR CALIBER? REVOLUTIONARY? Wait and see 14 Dec 2002
By S. Cha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Catch Me soundtrack is a mix of original music and oldies songs. The score is jazz like, with the usual elements of John's musical composition. Is it good music with the movie? I would say yes! Can it stand strong by itself? I have mixed feelings about it. If you're patient and just kicking back, it's very cool stuff! But if you're not patient and just want to hear exciting tracks immediately, then this stuff is just OK. It's true, the jazz tunes make up about 45 minutes of the CD. The great songs really hold up the listening enjoyment of the soundtrack. Without the songs, the score can get a little repetitive. I gave this a 4 star, so it's definetely a recommendation. It'll most likely go up for BEST ORIGINAL SCORE at the OSCARS, since jazz tunes of the 50s are favorable to them. The only reason I wouldn't give this a 5 is that the theme song isn't the strongest. It's cool, but not revolutionary. The musical score time, 45 minutes, is a bit short. Some of the tracks repeat in other songs. It's OK if the album is long, but if it's short, I expect a bit more variety. Other than these factors, it's cool, pleasing, romantic, haunting, and reminescence of the 50's. What an experience it would be!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Great "Catch" 4 Oct 2004
By Erik North - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Steven Spielberg's 2002 film CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was a breezy crime caper movie based on the true-life story of Frank Abagnale, a real "phony" who nevertheless embarked on a three-year spree of writing bum checks adding up to millions during the 1960s. To capture that era's swinging mores, he had his great friend John Williams design one of that composer's quirkiest scores ever--very jazzy and redolent of the scores Henry Mancini devised for the "Pink Panther" films and Stanley Donen's 1963 classic CHARADE.

But for Williams, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was very much a homecoming, as he started out in jazz and even worked quite closely with Mancini early on in Hollywood. The genuine jauntiness and mystery of the film's main musical motifs are balanced by moments of warm but not mushy sentimentality, and hit songs of that period by Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, and Dusty Springfield round out this appealing collection.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was such an offbeat project for a composer and a director known for boldness, but it served as a challenge that Spielberg aced on the screen and Williams aced in his music. It is highly recommended for its sheer audacity in going back to the past and still remaining relevant to today.
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