Soundtrack recordings can be powerful agents of exposure for films and TV shows.
The 1960s-era James Bond films produced memorable soundtracks, for example, while more recently, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? sold millions of copies and, just as importantly, millions of theater tickets.
Yet, a soundtrack on its own, without the context of the film to accompany it, needs to be evaluated as music that stands or falls on its own merits. Anyway, what would one expect from a film that presents music from Alison Krauss and the Ink Spots, the SteelDrivers and Bix Beiderbecke? Does that tell us anything about the movie? Probably not in any preview sense, although it might be clearer after viewing.
While the soundtrack to Get Low is perhaps not the most coherent or well-integrated collection of music in recent memory, the individual tracks include some real gems, both new and old. Of particular note are the contributions from the SteelDrivers, “East Virginia Fast” (really “East Virginia Blues”) and “Jesus Come For Me,” showing the gutsy, bluesy sound that has made them one of the most talked-about bands in recent years. Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer add some terrific new instrumental interludes that stand perfectly well on their own. And all this is interspersed with classics (“If I Didn’t Care” by the Ink Spots, “My Blue Heaven” by Gene Austin, “I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover” by Beiderbecke) and a soon-to-be classic, “Lay My Burden Down” from Alison Krauss.
I don’t know that the soundtrack tells me much, other than the fact that there’s an awful lot of great music in Get Low. This is a collection worth seeking out. (Concord Music Group, Inc., 100 N. Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210, www.concordmusicgroup.com.) AWIII