Album: Sideways: Original Score

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Album:

Sideways: Original Score

Artist: Rolfe Kent
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Label: New Line Records

Writer-director Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed, multi-Academy Award nominated mid-life-crisis/road trip comedy fuses the sensibilities of 50’s/60’s Italian farce with the edgier, character-driven ethos of 70’s American films. The director admits the film’s musical score was largely inspired by the former’s Neapolitan jazz sensibilities (and the work of Piero Umiliani in particular), as skillfully evoked by composer Rolfe Kent, Payne’s previous collaborator on About Schmidt and Election. Some instrumental choices and rhythmic quirks are…

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Writer-director Alexander Payne’s critically acclaimed, multi-Academy Award nominated mid-life-crisis/road trip comedy fuses the sensibilities of 50’s/60’s Italian farce with the edgier, character-driven ethos of 70’s American films. The director admits the film’s musical score was largely inspired by the former’s Neapolitan jazz sensibilities (and the work of Piero Umiliani in particular), as skillfully evoked by composer Rolfe Kent, Payne’s previous collaborator on About Schmidt and Election. Some instrumental choices and rhythmic quirks are clearly evocative winks at that Italian canon, yet Kent has produced a bright, focused modern score that is anything but slavish to its inspirations. Marrying the inherently expansive nature of jazz to the brutal time constraints of film scoring has never been easy, but using an all-star 10-piece ensemble (featuring notable contributions from pianist Ron Feuer, Roger Burn on vibes, flautist Pedro Eustache, the sax of Dan Higgins and percussionist Alex Acuna), Kent does it here with deceptive ease, producing a breezy suite of jazz cues that pulses with playful, upbeat cool. —Jerry McCulley

Related Works

Book:Sideways: A Novel

Sideways: A Novel

Rex Pickett

Sideways is the story of two friends-Miles and Jack-going away together for the last time to steep themselves in everything that makes it good to be young and single: pinot, putting, and prowling bars. In the week before Jack plans to marry, the pair heads out from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez wine country. For Jack, the tasting tour is Seven Days to D-Day, his final stretch of freedom. For Miles—who has divorced his wife, is facing an uncertain career and has lost his passion for living-the trip is a weeklong opportunity to evaluate his past, his future and himself.

A raucous and surprising novel filled with wonderful details about wine, Sideways is also a thought-provoking and funny book about men, women, and human relationships.

Film:Sideways (2004)

Sideways

Alexander Payne

With Sideways, Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Storytelling) has become an unlikely but engaging romantic lead. Struggling novelist and wine connoisseur Miles (Giamatti) takes his best friend Jack (Thomas Haden Church, Wings) on a wine-tasting tour of California vineyards for a kind of extended bachelor party. Almost immediately, Jack’s insatiable need to sow some wild oats before his marriage leads them into double-dates with a rambunctious wine pourer (Sandra Oh, Under the Tuscan Sun) and a recently divorced waitress…

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