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MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL: SOUNDTRACK

by Andrew L. Urban

I was about 17 or 18 when I discovered Johnny Mercer, wallowing in the glorious melancholy romance of Laura, Autumn Leaves, Fools Rush In, and the achingly sad, infinitely sophisticated, I Wanna Be Around (to pick up the pieces, when somebody – twice as smart as I - breaks your heart, like you broke mine). That a teenager (admittedly an unusual one) found Mercer’s lyrics so haunting says much about the power of lyrics – poetry and music fusing to become intravenous emotion. It was all the drugs I needed. Those songs have not worn or diminished over time, acquiring (for me, at least) an intensity and complexity like very old wine, informed by the longer experience of life that I can now claim. All this is simply to say that this soundtrack stands alone, because it is basically a Johnny Mercer Songbook; in fact, it is labeled "Music From and Inspired By the Motion Picture" so don’t go expecting the EXACT soundtrack. But you do get the film’s Kevin Spacey singing That Old Black Magic (rather well, nice feel) and Clint Eastwood doing a sparkling Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive. If you respond to songs like Midnight Sun (Mercer/Sonny Burke/Lionel Hampton), you will love this CD. If you already have a Mercer collection, you may want it for the add-ons, like k./d. lang, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall, Paula Cole, Alison Krauss, Alison Eastwood and Rosemary Clooney.

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MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL
Catalogue Number: CD 9362466292
Label: Warner Bros
RRP: $29.95
Available: All music outlets

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Produced by Matt Pierson & Clint Eastwood

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14 tracks:
Skylark (k.d.lang); Too Marvelous For Words (Joe Williams); Autumn Leaves (Paula Cole); Fools Rush In (Rosemary Clooney); Dream (Brad Mehldau); Days of Wine & Roses (Cassandra Wilson); That Old Black Magic (Kevin Spacey); Come Rain or Come Shine (Alison Eastwood); Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive (Clint Eastwood); This Time the Dream's On Me (Alison Krauss); Laura (Kevin Mahogany); Midnight Sun (Diana Krall); I'm an Old Cowland (Joshua Redman); I wanna Be Around (Tony Bennett)

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