American Splendor

American Splendor

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Cartoonist Harvey Pekar, whose autobiographical comics serve as the basis for the film American Splendor, and "with a background as a jazz critic since 1959," contributes appropriately illustrated liner notes to the soundtrack album (some of them contained in the multimedia portion of the enhanced CD accessible by computer) in which he helpfully opines that the…  See more details below

Overview

Cartoonist Harvey Pekar, whose autobiographical comics serve as the basis for the film American Splendor, and "with a background as a jazz critic since 1959," contributes appropriately illustrated liner notes to the soundtrack album (some of them contained in the multimedia portion of the enhanced CD accessible by computer) in which he helpfully opines that the disc "not only [supports] the film's narrative action, but [is] a collection of entertaining and substantive performances that could stand by themselves without reference to the film's narrative flow." He also informs listeners that composer Mark Suozzo's score, which is sampled in two brief excerpts, "does what a lot of good film music is supposed to do, support the onscreen action without drawing undue attention to itself." (Doubtless Pekar also has reviewed the film itself somewhere, but that is not our concern.) Having gotten these major judgments out of the way, a more independent listener can add that the various-artists collection is a combination of acoustic jazz by the likes of Jay McShann, Dizzy Gillespie, and John Coltrane (the Atlantic Records recording of "My Favorite Things"), with a couple of string band re-creations by cartoonist turned musician R. Crumb, two recordings of the soul hit "Ain't That Peculiar," the original by Marvin Gaye, and one by Chocolate Genius, and the aforementioned score excerpts, which are also in an acoustic jazz mode. The material hangs together well for the most part (Gaye and Crumb do seem to come out of left field for those who haven't seen the movie) and will be particularly appealing to jazz fans, particularly those who have been critics since 1959.

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Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
Besides being the subject of Splendor, Harvey Pekar is also a jazz critic, so Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane populate the film's soundtrack.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2003
Label:
Watertower Music
UPC:
0794043902628
catalogNumber:
39026

Tracks

  1. Paniots Nine  - Joe Maneri
  2. Blue Devil Jump  - Jay McShann
  3. Chasin' Rainbows  - Robert Crumb
  4. On the Sunny Side of the Street
  5. Oh, Lady Be Good  - Dizzy Gillespie
  6. Ain't That Peculiar  - Marvin Gaye
  7. Longing Suite: The Shortest Weekend/After Alice (So Sweet, So Sad)
  8. Stardust  - Dizzy Gillespie
  9. Hula Medley  - Robert Crumb
  10. 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do  - Jay McShann
  11. My Favorite Things  - John Coltrane
  12. Time Passes Strangely (Cancer Treatment/Retirement Party)
  13. Ain't That Peculiar  -  Chocolate Genius

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dizzy Gillespie   Trumpet
Bob Malach   Tenor Saxophone
Jay McShann   Piano
Derek Smith   Organ,Piano,Celeste
Sanford Allen   Violin,Concert Master
John Beal   Bass
Bob Chausow   Violin
Allan Dodge   Mandolin
Dave Douglas   Trumpet
Richard Locker   Cello
Jim Saporito   Percussion
Mark Suozzo   Conductor
Frederick Zlotkin   Cello
Dale Stuckenbruck   Violin
Paul Woodiel   Violin
Bob Armstrong   Steel Guitar
Lori Miller   Violin
Ronnie Zito   Drums
Josh Rosenblum   Conductor

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Percy Grainger   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Dallas String Band   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
Warren "Pete" Moore   Composer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Paul Quinichette   Composer
Ted Spencer   Engineer
Mark Suozzo   Composer,Orchestration,Score Producer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Marvin Tarplin   Composer
Robert Rogers   Composer
Mitch Rotter   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Robert Prince   Composer
Jason Linn   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Peter Dolger   Composer
Warren Moore   Composer

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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The neighborhood and characters of this film are right out of deep blue collar America. The people are striving, but trapped in the sticky flypaper just below the bottom edge of the lower middle class. They lead lives of quiet desperation and do not have a clue regarding how the better paid and wealthier folks in our country live. The decrepit street scenes, poorly dressed people, the sense of angst is overpowering. It is like you are a voyeur and cannot tear your eyes away from watching these characters deal with their existence. Any of us can end up in this type of socio-economic trap and most of us experience it from time to time. If you live in the city and walk its streets and hang in its bars, then you know some of these people and their stories. I rented it and now may buy it.