Jazz 100
Soundtracking
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Amarcord Nino Rota
Various Artists
1981 [Hannibal]


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A whole host of 80s jazz luminaries, most of them from the avant-garde, got together to make this tribute to Italian film composer Nino Rota. Of course, they chose scores to Fellini movies as their subjects, then proceeded to make them more eccentric than the originals. There is not enough room to list the noted musicians featured here.





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The Cotton Club
John Barry
1984 [Geffen]


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The Cotton Club is the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola's 1984 ganster film about the famous Harlem nightclub in the 1930s when Duke Ellington was in residence. John Barry capably conducts a host of outstanding jazz studio musicians. The album took out the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band in 1986.





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Round Midnight
Herbie Hancock
1986 [Columbia]


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The soundtrack to the 1986 film starring Dexter Gordon and Francois Cluzet is based on legendary jazz musicians Lester Young and Bud Powell. It took out the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score in 1986. The soundtrack was produced by pianist Herbie Hancock and features a host of well-known jazz musicians playing to perfection.





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Bird
Lennie Niehaus
1988 [Columbia]


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Producer Lennie Niehaus was given the job of reproducing some of jazz legend Charlie Parker's most famous alto-sax solos for the 1988 biographical film 'Bird' directed by Clint Eastwood. No mean feat, given the jazz luminaries Parker played with in his life, most notably Dizzy Gillespie whose character features prominently in the film.





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Let's Get Lost
Chet Baker
1989 [RCA/Arista Novus]


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Somewhat ironically, this album finds Chet Baker performing music from the 1989 documentary film 'Let's Get Lost' directed the Bruce Weber focussing on Baker's tragic life story. Baker is a classic-era cool jazz icon known for both his trumpet playing and romantic vocals. Here Baker plays with little-known musicians, but does it well.





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When Harry Met Sally…
Harry Connick, Jr.
1989 [Comumbia]


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The soundtrack to the romantic comedy 'When Harry Met Sally...' is as close to a genuine jazz record as Harry Connick Jr. is ever likely to get. Here he croons through a delightful set of jazz standards with effortless aplomb. Connick's superb performance here ultimately scored him the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance.





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Cowboy Bebop
Seatbelts
1998 [Victor]


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For the unfortunately uninitiated, Cowboy Bebop is a cutting edge Japanese sci-fi anime series that, at least in the beginning, featured an absolutely knockout jazz/blues soundtrack. Composer Yoko Kanno put the band Seatbelts together, "...to be safe while they play hardcore jam sessions". The hard-to-find first album is a jazz gem.





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A Tale of God's Will
Terence Blanchard
2007 [Blue Note]


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Spike Lee couldn't have made a better choice to compose the music for his documentary about Hurricane Katrina than New Orleans trumpeter Terence Blanchard. In a Socialist Review interview, Blanchard said he wanted people to reflect on, "...how things can go terribly wrong in what is supposed to be the richest country in the world."


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