Anatomy of a Murder – Duke Ellington

ArtistDuke Ellington

Year1959

Genre: Big Band

Grade: A-

Otto Preminger’s 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder remains one of the greatest courtroom dramas of all time. Likewise, the accompanying soundtrack by Duke Ellington is a cultural milestone. Not only is it the first Hollywood film to be scored by an African American artist; it’s also another landmark recording in Ellington’s already-legendary discography. Although the fragmented LP doesn’t quite hold together in the same manner as, say, Miles Davis’ Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (the other 1950s jazz soundtrack of note), the overall listening experience of Anatomy of a Murder is far more enjoyable because the accompanying film is that much better.

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