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Jazz On Film - Biopics (6cd) Box set, Collector's Edition, Limited Edition, Soundtrack

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 May 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Limited Edition, Soundtrack
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B00G26XARG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,915 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

The 5th critically acclaimed and unique new release by Moochin About compiles for the first time a collection of stunning jazz scores from classic biographical films.... Films of biographies go through phases - sometimes favoured by the Oscar jurors, sometimes not. The 1950 s was a fertile period for them and in particular for jazz musicians,who's music influenced many... jazz was seen as rebellious enough to be part of the score to these tributes to the greatest symbols of the era ! The styles go from the beginning of jazz to west coast cool, but what every subject of the films has is desire. A desire to succeed, a desire to be the best, a desire to live in the here and now and (most of all) a desire to this on their own terms. It make for great stories and great Hollywood movies, but most of all, it leads to wonderful film scores..! The films themselves trace the life stories of some of the most influential Jazz & Blues musicians in history, as well as one of the most iconic film actors; James Dean. Two versions of the score appear in this collection ~ The original Leith Stevens soundtrack, plus the critically acclaimed Capitol Records version by Johnny Mandel, featuring top flight soloists Chet Baker, Bud Shank and an array of star spangled sidemen.! Other films included on this unique collection are Young Man With Horn which is loosely based on the tragic life of Bix Beiderbecke, who s sound in the film is expertly dubbed by the great Harry James... also The Five Pennies , which tells the dramatic story of jazz trumpeter Red Nichols, played in the film by a remarkably straight faced Danny Kaye and is especially memorable for his duet with Louis Armstrong. Also a great addition to this set is the very rare St Louis Blues, which is broadly based on the Father of The Blues, WC Handy... with a young and inspiring Nat King Cole playing the lead role... and the fantastic Pete Kelly's Blues, a fictional jazz biopic with Jack Webb's brilliant introductions to each tune...This collection scattered with Jazz legends appearing in both the films and the soundtracks and is a must for jazz and film buffs alike... The boxset will be released as a limited edition in 2 different covers... Version 1 will feature James Stewart on the cover, from The Glenn Miller Story and version 2 will feature Louis Armstrong, taken from the film The Five Pennies, with Danny Kaye on the reverse side... FOREWORD BY CERYS MATTHEWS ~ 6MUSIC


Moochin' About have done it again ! this time a collection of film soundtracks which will transform that ordinary day into one worthy itself of a film just by the sheer brilliance of the sound spilling from your speakers. --Cerys Matthews ~ 6Music

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By joe jackson on 21 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fabulous concept, lovingly assembled but awkwardly realised,nearly. Cover pic has image reversed, with Louis on back! Also, title is on front not on spine,snow box set has to be stacked back to front and designer forgot to include thumb circle hence the box setnhasbto be shaken open. All inexcusable. Booklet is brilliant but one poster pic on cover is lost on the edge. As for discs, sound is great, for CD,but too many are mono, such as The Eddy Duchin Story, whereas the LP was available in stereo. But those design gripes aside, and despite abundance of mono versions, it's heaven to have all these rare soundtracks in one box set. Recommended with reservations
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KingOfTheWorld on 28 May 2014
Format: Audio CD
Whether you are reading the papers, preparing the Sunday lunch or just chilling in the garden with a bottle of wine, this really is the perfect sound track to a Sunday morning - come rain or shine! These sets just get better and better. They are superbly remastered and transport you to another place as soon as you put them on! Is it Sunday yet :) ?
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Kate on 24 May 2014
Format: Audio CD
Stunning! Simply the only word to sum this up. Great remastering, and well presented. Another great to add to the collection.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Vaughan df vaughan on 6 July 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Havent heard this yet but am looking forward to again hearing the main USA jazz soundtracks of the last 50 years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another very fine, very well put together set of soundtrack (ST) music from a number of movies from the 1950's. The format I'm happy to say is the same as the first three sets from Moochin' About--thick outer box, cardboard sleeves with the relative movie placards, good period sound, and a 66 page booklet crammed with very relevant information on both the individual movies and the attendant music. The 3 CD Chet Baker-Piero Umiliani set has different packaging than the others--and suffers somewhat for it--you become spoiled after the great packaging of the previous sets. The photo on the outer box of this set may be either James Stewart or (as shown on the Amazon page) Stewart with Louis Armstrong--for whatever reason the label decided to issue two different outer boxes.

The movies included are; "The Gene Krupa Story" (1959), ("He hammered out the savage sound of the jazz era!"), "The James Dean Story" (1957), "The Five Pennies" (1959), "St. Louis Blues" (1958), "The Eddy Duchin Story" (1956), "The Glenn Miller Story" (1954), "Young Man With A Horn" (1950), "Pete Kelly's Blues" (1955), "The James Dean Story" (1957 a different ST), and "The Benny Goodman Story" (1956).

The music across these STs is played by some of the finest jazz musicians of the era, including Gene Krupa, Red Nichols, W. C. Handy, Bix Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Eddie (or Eddy) Duchin, Louis Armstrong, Nelson Riddle, Eartha Kitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Benny Carter, Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Charlie Mariano, Pepper Adams, Shelly Manne, George Van Eps, Trummie (or Trummy) Young, Doris Day (vocal), Harry James, Nick Fatool, Jack Webb (yes that Jack Webb--narrator) and others. But not everything could be considered jazz. Some of this music is used purely to set the scene and help with the continuity of the storyline. If you've heard some of the earlier sets of jazz/Film Noir you know that they contain a lot of jazz. While this new set has a lot of jazz too, some pieces aren't in the jazz genre. But saying that these STs hold together very well as individual works.

What can I say? This is another great set of STs from the 1950's--one of the most exciting periods for movie-making and jazz. The earlier sets too contain some very fine jazz/Film Noir scores from some equally good and/or obscure movies from (roughly) the same era. This set focuses on "Biopics", which (for the first time in this series) focuses on the musicians themselves as the "stars" in these movies. "The James Dean Story" is not a true movie, rather it's a in a documentary style--using still photos combined with real people. In the 50's jazz was still though of as "rebellious" and jazz musicians were thought of in the same light, hence the seeming proliferation of these types of flicks to capitalize on "jazz" and "jazz musicians". The types of music heard here ranges from early jazz to more "cool" sounds, to swinging big band jazz. And this music (and the musicians) have influenced jazz through the years--just check out the list of players. But be aware that the music heard in the movie "St Louis Blues" isn't what's heard here. Nat Cole recorded a number of W.C. Handy songs (with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra) and it was released as the ST, and that's whats heard here--not what's heard in the movie. Cole's vocals and piano are typically good, and Riddle's orchestra has some good tight arrangements throughout this set.

In the Krupa story Anita O'Day has a nice vocal on "Memories Of You". The first of the James Dean STs has a score produced by Johnny Mandel and Bill Holman which features some fine jazz arrangements--a personal favorite. The second Dean score adds strings to some of the pieces. This is the score used in the documentary. Baker sings on "Let Me Be Loved" on the first ST, and Tommy Sands (remember him?) replaces Baker on the actual documentary score. "The Eddy Duchin Story" features Carmen Cavallero on piano plus Morris Stoloff's Orchestra with some good piano solos and some nice heavily orchestrated tunes. There's some nice big band arrangements here. "The Glenn Miller Story" uses The Universal-International Orchestra, plus Louis Armstrong's All Stars. Each shines with some great playing. Many fans will know "Moonlight Serenade", "In The Mood", "Tuxedo Junction", "Basin Street Blues", and others. All in all a nice ST. "Young Man With A Horn" has Harry James compositions,a young Doris Day on vocals, and a large band heavy on the horns plus rhythm section. There's some good arrangements here for horns. Check out Day's version of "I Only Have Eyes For You" for a good period arrangement.

"Pete Kelly's Blues" uses Jack Webb ("Dragnet") as narrator throughout this set. After the introduction his comments are very brief yet (for me) they disrupt the flow and mood of the music--which is very good. The tune "I'm Going To Meet My Sweetie Now" (as stated by Webb in the narration--not "I'm Going To Get My..." as shown on the disc jacket) is a good example of this ST's fine, mostly down-tempo, bluesy music--well arranged and well played. "The James Dean Story" (2nd ST) uses a number of the same musicians and musical pieces with the addition of a string section. This isn't the jazz album heard on the first ST, with Baker and Shank soloing to good effect. This is a more ensemble style ST. Different in many ways but good. "The Benny Goodman Story" features Goodman and his orchestra at the time, including Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Buck Clayton, Harry James, Gene Krupa, Teddy Wilson, and others. This is a bright, swinging batch of tunes. Big band fans will certainly be familiar with this music. Perhaps relatively more well known than other STs here, nonetheless it deserves to be a part of this collection.

All the movies except "Pete Kelly's Blues" and the aforementioned Dean documentary are based around real figures in jazz. But to boost box office ratings more recognizable "stars'" were often used in these movies. And the movies (like most movies) contain inaccuracies that "help" the storyline. But the music is what's important here and in that respect this set delivers. "The Glenn Miller Story" pretty much paved the way for many of these kinds of movies, and the attendant music in each flick is a good example of jazz in that period. As with other Moochin' About collections, this set will reward the listener the more it's listened to. There's a lot of great jazz across these ten STs, and each ST includes some very good jazz and/or film music from their respective times.

In Europe this series is very popular--the continuation of the mysterious "jazz life" as seen by Europeans, is still seen as exciting. Here in the U.S. many people take jazz for granted along with these movies. But listening to this and the other collections--even if you're not a "soundtrack person" (I'm not really either)--you'll hear some good, exciting performances, and in the case of "The James Dean Story", two chances to hear different versions of that ST. But it all adds up to another set of worthwhile jazz/music from some iconic (and sometimes) rare movies. Hopefully more jazz fans will catch on to this series. It's well worth the time to hear these STs full of good music, from an era when jazz and these types of movies were (arguably) at their peak or certainly at one of it's peaks. No doubt in the future there'll be another similar collection of STs with more great music. I'll be watching.
Great collection, though slightly flawed. 12 Jan. 2015
By James Doherty - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a soundtrack collector, I liked this collection a lot. It has quite a few soundtracks not available elsewhere. I presume that most people looking at this item are probably already familiar with most of the films represented here or their corresponding soundtrack albums, so I will not go into a musical analysis, except to say that this set contains the soundtracks from the biopics of eight real or fictional bandleaders and/or jazz musicians, plus two versions of the semi-jazz score for the documentary THE JAMES DEAN STORY.

The set mainly appears to be transferred from LPs, with varying results. Here are some quick notes that I hope might help some potential buyers:

THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY is mono (I don't think there ever was a true stereo LP of this in the first place).
THE GLENN MILLER STORY is in stereo (as was the 1992 MCA LP reissue).
THE FIVE PENNIES is mono although I believe a stereo LP was originally released. There is noticeable distortion on some
ST. LOUIS BLUES is in stereo. It is not actually a soundtrack album. It is Nat King Cole singing songs from the film. The
original LP was "Nat King Cole: Songs from St. Louis Blues."
THE GENE KRUPA STORY is unfortunately in mono although a stereo LP was definitely issued.
PETE KELLY'S BLUES is in mono, as originally issued.
THE JAMES DEAN STORY: Two versions are presented. The first is the original jazz-ish soundtrack LP with orchestra,
conducted by the composer, Leith Stevens. This version is in mono as was the original LP. The transfer is rather
noisy, and a slightly better transfer can be found on the Golden Stars label, on the set, A TRIBUTE TO JAMES DEAN.
The second version is actually a jazz album based on themes from the film, arranged by Johnny Mandel, and played by
Chet Baker, Bud Shank and others. It is in stereo and is probably the best sounding thing in this set; however, it is pretty
far removed from the feel of the original soundtrack version. It makes a great jazz album, though.

Just OK 15 Jan. 2015
By A. C. Herrick - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
To my knowledge all the material on this set has been previously released. The re-mastering is great so the sound is good. I enjoy Young Man With a Horn and St. Louis Blues the most . Harry James and Doris Day compliment each other well on Young Man and Nat King Cole shines on St. Louis Blues. The Gene Krupa Story is worth a listen also. The rest of the music is just so so. In fact it sounds like fifties soundtrack music which it is. That does not mean its bad but just not great.
The set includes six Cds so it is great for a long distance car ride but a bit much for one sitting. The booklet that is included provides info. on the back round and artists for each soundtrack. It is very informative.
Get it while it is hot 19 Feb. 2014
By D. Cassidy - Published on
Verified Purchase
What a bargain. 106 great jazz numbers for less than $18 dollars. some mistake surly. Jump on it before they correct the mistake.
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