Please Read This First!

The out-of-print albums that I post here are available for free! For many years, I used Megaupload to store my shares, but with their recent demise, I have switched to using MediaFire instead. If one of the shares is unavailable, please leave a comment requesting it and I'll re-upload it as soon as I can. If you have any problems, feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Duke Ellington - Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Update 2/24/2012: I've removed the share because this album has been released digitally by Columbia/Legacy and is available now from Show your support by buying it today!

One of the first CDs I picked up way back when I bought my first player in 1987 was Rykodisc's soundtrack to Otto Preminger's 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder. I had heard one of the tracks on a Rykodisc sampler and was instantly hooked by the bold and brassy crime-noir sound. All these years later and it's still my favorite jazz album.

Normally I prefer vocal jazz, but I think the reason I love this album so much is that it perfectly merges jazz with another of my favorite musical forms, the soundtrack score. In its composition, Duke Ellington makes use of character motifs and scene specifics in a way that makes this a very exciting and dynamic listening experience. It's one of those rare deep albums, the appreciation of which can increase over the years as you return to it.

The funny thing about this being one of my favorites is that I listened to this album for nearly three years before I finally got around to seeing the movie! And what a movie it is! I guess it can be best described as a deliberately paced court procedural with a racy (for its time) plot. It stars Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden and George C. Scott. Stewart is always enjoyable, but his work here in particular is excellent. It moves in a leisurely manner that we don't see in movies too much any more, but it certainly never gets boring. Watching Stewart work his way through the case has a kind of reassuring familiarity that I enjoy. Undoubtedly one of the true greats, both Stewart and this film.

Check out these two clips, first the innovative opening credits sequence set to the "Main Title" and then an extended theatrical trailer:

Rykodisc first released this on CD as a reissue of the original LP in 1987. This was followed by a duplicate Sony reissue in 1991. Sony then re-released this version in 1995 with remastered sound and twelve (!) bonus tracks. The original LP mix has a unique sound, as it has a very distinct echo effect. I appreciate that, but the remaster is superior: the echo is gone, bringing the listener much closer to the music, with its sharp clean tone. The previously unreleased bonus tracks include rare single tracks, rehearsals, unused tracks recorded for the movie and tracks used in the movie that were omitted from the original LP release. The first thirteen tracks present the original LP running order, followed by the twelve bonus tracks. The final 10:45 track is particularly interesting as it takes a collage approach and includes interview audio with Ellington, dialogue, movie effects and music. Good stuff!

Duke Ellington - Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
1. Main Title and Anatomy of a Murder (3:53)
2. Flirtibird (2:10)
3. Way Early Subtone (3:55)
4. Hero to Zero (2:09)
5. Low Key Lightly (3:35)
6. Happy Anatomy (Band-Movie) (2:31)
7. Midnight Indigo (2:42)
8. Almost Cried (Studio) (2:23)
9. Sunswept Sunday (1:50)
10. Grace Valse (2:29)
11. Happy Anatomy (P.I. Five) (1:26)
12. Haupe (2:34)
13. Upper and Outest (2:17)
14. Anatomy of a Murder (Stereo Single) (2:40)
15. Merrily Rolling Along (aka Hero to Zero) / Sunswept Sunday (Movie Stings & Rehearsal) (3:47)
16. Beer Garden (1:50)
17. Happy Anatomy (Band-Studio) (2:37)
18. Polly (aka Grace Valse, Haupe, Low Key Lightly, Midnight Indigo) (3:33)
19. Polly (Movie Stings) (3:52)
20. Happy Anatomy (Dixieland) (2:11)
21. More Blues (P.I. Five) (2:11)
22. Almost Cried (aka Flirtibird) (2:09)
23. Sound Track Music: Anatomy of a Murder (Duke Ellington a la Guy Lombardo) (2:27)
24. Anatomy of a Murder (Mono Single: In Stereo) (2:33)
25. The Grand Finale (Rehearsal/Lines/Interview/Music/Stings/Murder) (10:45)


Anonymous said...

I like Duke Ellington but had not heard this album.

It's mind blowing; completely blew me away!

Thanks for posting it and the other albums.

If you ever come across the now out-of-print Harpo Marx albums that were released briefly on CD, don't hesitate to post them!


Kevin Sartori said...

Anonymous, you can find some (all?) of the various Harpo Marx releases over at Chasradio:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kevin!

I actually heard this download; unfortunately, the sound isn't all that great. It'd be great to find a CD rip...

Best regards.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, I've been looking all over.
Any idea where to find the cd covers?

Kevin Sartori said...

Well, the archives I upload here always include a front cover scan named folder.jpg. You could also click on the thumbnail cover above and the full-sized cover will open in a new tab. I can't help you with scans of the booklet, disc or tray, though, sorry.

Anonymous said...

thanks, fantastic blog haven't listened to this yet but, heck yeah.

Anonymous said...

Nice ... Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Is it bad that I'm enjoying this while doing housework?

It's fabo for mindnumbing I-don't-really-want-to-do-this kind of things. helps the loooooonnnggggg time go faster when there's hip music in the background.

Many thanks!

Anonymous said...


Thank you very much for share this incridble album

Anonymous said...

pretty nice, pretty good

thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

As of 22 Jan 2010 this download is not available. Can it be reloaded?

Great site! Really enjoying the music! Thanks for all your work.

Kevin Sartori said...

Download link was expired/deleted. Re-uploaded and available for download again!

Anonymous said...

stumbled across your site and am loving it, however I am not seeing a link for this. Has it expired? any way to reload? thanks.

Kevin Sartori said...

Unfortunately, there was a DMCA complaint made to Google about this share a couple of years ago, so I took it down. Since then, it's become available digitally from Columbia/Legacy on for only $8.99. It's an awesome soundtrack that's well worth the low price.