Table Pounding Records

Jazz and classical performers have been cashing in on movie themed compilations since nearly the advent of talking pictures, and most of them suffer from being either too syrupy and sentimental or overly bombastic. Rare is the album where I find the artist has taken the material and not only made it his own, but transformed it into something that transcends the films from which the themes originate.

In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.

Intrada Records

A staple of easy listening radio throughout the latter half of the 20th century, Henry Mancini’s gifted songwriting abilities often overshadowed the films he scored. Despite winning an Oscar for his score for “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” (in addition to another Oscar he shared with Johnny Mercer for “Moon River” from the same film), the complete score for the picture has gone largely unheard on compact disc until now.

Making Music For 'The Hobbit'

Dec 13, 2013

Composer Howard Shore has written dozens of film scores. He’s worked with directors Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorcese, and he’s a frequent collaborator with David Cronenberg. But he’s probably best known for his work with Peter Jackson.

Shore wrote the scores for all three “Lord of the Rings” movies, as well as the two “Hobbit” films, including “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which opens today. He’s won three Oscars for his work on “The Lord of the Rings” films.