Be Kind Rewind

Music By: Various Artists

Musical Score By: Jean-Michel Bernard

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            When junkyard employee Jerry (Jack Black) attempts to sabotage a power plant that he believes is melting his brain, his plans backfire yielding consequences of magnetic proportions.  A huge magnetic field created by Jerry accidentally erases all of the video tapes in a local video store.  Best friend Mike (Mos Def) has been watching the store, former home of jazz legend Fats Waller, for his boss, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover), while he makes a pilgrimage to Wallerís birthplace.  Fearing the loss of Mikeís job and/or the store, Jerry and Mike decide to prevent the storeís one loyal customer (Mia Farrow) from learning what has happened.  The two friends decide to re-film every movie she decides to rent.  Since the elderly woman has a shaky grasp on reality as it is, they figure they can pull it off.  But the eclectic tastes of the loyal customer keep Jerry and Mike on their toes.

            Since jazz legend Fats Waller plays such an important role in the storyline of Be Kind Rewind, his songs are featured prominently on the movieís soundtrack.  French composer Jean-Michel Bernard is tapped to perform these songs and to compose a musical score for the film.  Bernard was trained as a classical pianist and has performed with the London Philharmonic.  Having performed in jazz clubs in Paris and Bordeaux, Bernard is well suited to compose tracks to go along with the jazz music of Fats Waller.  As I listened to his performance of tracks like Solitude and I Ainít Got Nobody, I was reminded of classy restaurants Iíve been to that feature a pianist performing for the dinersí pleasure.  The tracks are soothing and pleasant Ė more enjoyable than elevator music, subtle and not overpowering.

            I enjoyed the songs by Fats Waller.  I am a fan of jazz and have always enjoyed his music.  Tracks like Your Feets Too Big, Ainít Misbehaviní, and Swing Low Sweet Chariot took me back to a day when I used to listen to jazz more often.  Not having been a fan of I Ainít Got Nobody, I was a tad annoyed that there were three different renditions of this song on the album, the best version found on Track 7 performed by Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald ďDuckĒ Dunn and the movieís director Michel Gondry.  I was not thrilled with Mos Defís performances on this album, but will say that his rendition of Ainít Misbehaviní was enjoyable. 

            I loved hearing the song Nothing From Nothing by Billy Preston, a song I grew up listening to on my dadís car radio during long road trips.  I knew the song by heart and sang along.  Sunny Monday, performed by Booker T. & the MGs is my favorite track on the whole album.  In fact, I must say that Booker T. Jonesí performances on the Be Kind Rewind soundtrack somewhat overshadowed those of composer Jean-Michel Bernard.  I loved his mix of funk and soul found in each performance.

            In summary, buying the Be Kind Rewind Soundtrack is a purchase well-worth the money.  Jazz enthusiasts will love the music by Fats Waller as well as the musical score composed by Jean-Michel Bernard to complement them.  Ivory-tinkling enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy Bernardís style as a pianist.  The music on this soundtrack is fun and entertaining, just the way every soundtrack for a comedy should be.  So buy the Be Kind Rewind Soundtrack, sit back and enjoy the music!


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