Jazz Soundtracks

Jazz music community with reviews, MP3 (free download/stream) and forums

The jazz soundtrack genre at JMA is for artists who compose soundtracks with a strong jazz element. These artists may also work in other genres, but its their jazz soundtrack work that is of most interest to the jazz fan. Some good examples of jazz soundtrack composers are Quincey Jones, Henry Mancini and Isaac Hayes.

jazz soundtracks top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

CURTIS MAYFIELD Superfly Album Cover Superfly
CURTIS MAYFIELD
4.96 | 6 ratings
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JOHN ZORN Spillane Album Cover Spillane
JOHN ZORN
4.83 | 5 ratings
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THE SEATBELTS Cowboy Bebop Album Cover Cowboy Bebop
THE SEATBELTS
4.95 | 3 ratings
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JOHN ZORN Filmworks III: 1990-1995 Album Cover Filmworks III: 1990-1995
JOHN ZORN
4.75 | 5 ratings
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JANKO NILOVIĆ Rythmes Contemporains (aka Giant) Album Cover Rythmes Contemporains (aka Giant)
JANKO NILOVIĆ
4.98 | 2 ratings
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ISAAC HAYES Shaft Album Cover Shaft
ISAAC HAYES
4.63 | 6 ratings
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LALO SCHIFRIN Towering Toccata Album Cover Towering Toccata
LALO SCHIFRIN
4.93 | 2 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK Death Wish (OST) Album Cover Death Wish (OST)
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.52 | 8 ratings
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JOHN ZORN Film Works XIII : 2002 Volume Three - Invitation To A Suicide Album Cover Film Works XIII : 2002 Volume Three - Invitation To A Suicide
JOHN ZORN
4.75 | 2 ratings
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THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO Bande Sonore Originale Du Film Bande Sonore Originale Du Film "Les Stances À Sophie"
THE ART ENSEMBLE OF CHICAGO
4.33 | 6 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK Blow-Up (OST) Album Cover Blow-Up (OST)
HERBIE HANCOCK
3.89 | 7 ratings
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JOHN ZORN The Bribe Album Cover The Bribe
JOHN ZORN
4.00 | 2 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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jazz soundtracks Music Reviews

THE SEATBELTS Cowboy Bebop No Disc

Album · 1998 · Jazz Soundtracks
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dreadpirateroberts
While the first soundtrack to the TV series 'Cowboy Bebop' focuses mostly on hard bop, sizzling tempos and big band, the second OST 'No Disc' sees the Seatbelts perform across a wider range of genres and move away from mostly performing jazz.

There's still some big band, swing and even lounge in there for traditional jazz fans perhaps, but there's also forays into bluegrass, heavy metal and pop. This isn't a drawback, necessarily, but if you're looking for the kind of jazz found on the first OST you won't see much here on 'No Disc'.

Still, tracks like the beautiful 'Elm' and haunting 'Green Bird' are worth collecting and 'Gateway' does echo that bigger sound. 'Forever Broke' too has some great slide guitar. (Still, check it out if you're a fan of the series.)

THE SEATBELTS Cowboy Bebop

Album · 1998 · Jazz Soundtracks
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dreadpirateroberts
Hands down the best soundtrack to any animated series - but more importantly, what's it actually sound like?

Well, for my money 'progressive big band' is the perfect genre for this album. The pieces range from hard bop to Latin-influenced jazz to spacey sax ballads or bittersweet, sparsely accompanied pieces like 'Waltz for Zizi.'

Composer and pianist Yoko Kanno has brought together a sharp band in the Seatbelts and they hit hard with thunderous opener 'Tank!' - a charging blast of hard bop but with that Latin touch via the percussion bringing it something extra. A scorching alto solo from Masato Honda tops everything off too.

There's a good dose of stylistic variation on the album (though not as much as with their other releases) and it should keep fans of big band and hard bop interested from start to finish.

GONG Continental Circus (OST)

Album · 1971 · Jazz Soundtracks
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Miler72
I have always felt this album to be seriously underrated. This was a film soundtrack to an Australian motorcycle racer Jack Findlay. So that means it would be very seriously ridiculous to expect Gong to be singing about Pot Head Pixies here and much more sensible to sing about Findlay himself. And that's what you get, you still get that classic Gong sound circa Camembert Electrique. It's still sounds like Gong as you come to know and love. You even get a variant of "Fohat Digs Holes in Space" called "What Do You Want?". This album was apparently recorded before Camembert Electrique, but apparently released after. If the fact the recognizable bass line you hear on "What Do You Want" sounds slower than "Fohat", it's probably because it's an earlier version where Christian Tritsch wasn't fully comfortable playing those bass lines at full speed as you do on "Fohats". I have often ran across albums that don't always receive favorable reviews, and I have a hard time understanding why, and this is one of them. To me, another one to have if you're into Gong!

HENRY MANCINI The Pink Panther (Music From The Film Score)

Album · 1963 · Jazz Soundtracks
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siLLy puPPy
HENRY MANCINI was really at the peak of his career in 1964 when he wrote the soundtrack for THE PINK PANTHER. He had just won countless awards for his other movie soundtrack scores such as “Breakfast At Tiffany's.” MANCINI will forever be known for his vast contributions to 20th century film music but if i had to pick one single track that sums it all up it would have to be “THE PINK PANTHER theme” which has that super sexy swinging 60s jazz meets lounge exotica groove that screams out “What's New Pussycat” even more than Burt Bacharach. The PINK PATHER theme in tandem with the animated character that graced the opening credits took on a symbiotic life of their own creating a cultural icon that would go on to permeate popular culture with countless animated series and other commercial endeavors. Although I have to admit I fell for the theme track by watching those cute little short cartoons as a kid instead of watching the film which I find oK but not outstanding, I have to admit that THE PINK PANTHER theme was probably one of those early introductions to jazz music that led to a deeper appreciation as I got older.

I would imagine that virtually everyone on the planet has heard the main theme save the rare uncontacted rainforest tribe but what about the rest of the soundtrack score? I have to admit that I have only discovered the rest of the music on this album recently and although this was the time when the music on the soundtrack actually appeared in the movie, it has been quite a while since I have seen the movie that revolves around a giant pink diamond that appears to have a panther in the middle. After listening to this for a while lately and listening more attentively to the music itself without the visual distractions, I must say that I find this a very worthy listen on its own out of the context of the movie in which it appears. It is quite true that the theme song steals the show for it is by far the best song to appear on this roster but it is only because of its absolute magnanimous stature of burrowing into your soul and perfectly representing an era gone-by in a golden age of cinematic history.

Although initially disappointed that no other tracks are as outstanding as the title track, after a few listens it is more obvious that the majority of the other tracks are quite brilliant as well. MANCINI was always known for his swinging lounge and exotic music and he delivers all of that on here quite well. The music is quite diverse ranging from tango inspired numbers like “It Had Better Be Tonight” to 50s rock n' roll in “The Tiber Twist.” Despite influences being varied the tracks have a swinging jazz finish to them. The slow ballads and piano tracks that bring one instantly to some exotic lounge scene of the early 60s are probably my least favorites here but they are effective in how they evoke a certain time and place. I get more excited with the more energetic tracks such as the Latin cha cha cha tinged track “Something For Sellers” and the ragtime meets oom pah polka track “Shades Of Sennett.” Overall this is a satisfying soundtrack that is much more than the ever so addictive theme track and one worthy of jazzy lounge exotica fans to discover beyond the theme song.

HUGO MONTENEGRO Original Music From The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Album · 1965 · Jazz Soundtracks
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js
The mid 50s to mid 60s were a golden age for creative orchestrators. The arrival of high fidelity stereo sound brought a whole new interest in what kind of sophisticated tone colors could be obtained with an orchestra that was often spiced up with a few new exotic electric instruments and modern stereo effects. Hugo Montenegro was one of many arrangers who was part of this creative scene. Hugo was not as hip and smooth as Henry Mancini or Quincey Jones, and sometimes his music descended towards the heavy-handed pomp of Arthur Fieldler, but sometimes he also came up with some fairly good recordings too. The soundtrack to the weekly TV show, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”, is probably one of his best, although it is also inconsistent.

60s spy soundtracks tend to be treasure troves for those who seek exotic instrumental music and “U.N.C.L.E.” has its share of gems, but it also has some tracks that are extremely corny and show Montenegro at his worst. One of the best tracks is the main title theme which features a hard driving odd-metered horn riff very similar to Schifrin's classic "Mission Impossible". On side two, "Illya" matches the classic spaghetti western guitar sound favored by international spies and surfers to a laid back Latin lounge groove and features an odd high pitched keyboard, possibly an early synthesizer. Top tune honors though go to “The Invaders”, a classic menacing noire crime jazz theme played in an exotic 5/4 beat. The lesser cuts on here range from decent, but unremarkable easy-listening, to some really unbearably silly kitsch numbers.

To the collector of spy/crime soundtracks and exotic instrumentals there is enough good stuff on here to make this worth picking up, but there is also enough corny material on here to keep this record from being in the top ranks of this genre.

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Artists with Jazz Soundtracks release(s)

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