Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Satellite Has No Conscience

 Dianne Reeves, Good Night, Good Luck(Soundtrack)(2005)

     Good Night, And Good Luck  is a commentary on what is wrong with today's media and how it ended up as a grossly oppressive, corporate tool. Where has journalistic integrity gone!? It seems fitting then, that the soundtrack asks a similar question: in a world where pop divas by the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Ke$ha dictate young girls pop sensibilities, one wonders, "Where the fuck have all the great classical songwriters and vocalists gone?"
     Oh, hello Dianne Reeves... This Grammy award-winning jazz vocalist is the engine behind the soundtrack. It is no surprise George Clooney chose her voice to tap into the era. Reeves voice invokes the innocence of the that time gone by and makes her listeners long for it. Reeves is able to reflect that joy, playfulness and pain in her interpretations of classics from Cole Porter's "I've Got My Eyes On You", Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right", Duke Ellington and Irving Mills' "Solitude", and Johnny Mercer's "One For My Baby". She transports the listener to that time in America when songwriting and music were so much more than the soulless bubble-gum factory twine of today's teeny boppers.
     Reeves invokes a true sense of time, place, and meaning. A time when a clean, well greased man, could take a filter-less Lucky Strike, toasted, for his throat protection, and light it in the workplace, from behind a large, mahogany desk. He takes a few, easy, smooth drags before asking his secretary to bring in a cool glass of single malt scotch, with a rich, deep aroma. A Motorola, wooden hulled radio, with 2 gun-metal black nobs, set to the left of a steel colored, woolen thread speaker cover, emit the sweet serenading waves of a particularly melancholic, Charlie Parker. The secretary, with her pulsing, glossy lips and auburn, shoulder-length locks, that are parted deeply on the side, and flow in soft waves that curl under in the back, saunters into the office. The soft melody writes her every move, the batting of her eye lashes and the shallow draw of her breath. The horn pulls her legs across the floor, and guides her toes to carefully selected places on the carpet. Suddenly she meets the mans eyes with complete horror... when they both realize they are in black-and-white... OK, well maybe not that end part but the album manifests the rest of it. The songs on this album manage to connect as an organic whole, and stand alone without the context of this film. Good Night, and Good Luck is that rare exception, the music not only lends itself to defining the film, but also stands alone as an exceptional jazz piece.


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