The renowned jazz label Fantasy Records released a digital soundtrack for Wes Anderson’s short film Bottle Rocket (1994) back on December 9. Read on for the press release. Click below to buy it on Amazon and support the site!
1. The Chant / Artie Shaw
2. Old Devil Moon / Sonny Rollins
3. The Route / Chet Baker
4. Skating / Vince Guaraldi Trio
5. Stevie / John Coltrane
6. Nothing But The Soul / Horace Silver
7. Happiness Is / Vince Guaraldi Trio
8. Jane-O / Zoot Sims Quartet
From the press release:
Director Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed movies, from Bottle Rocket to Darjeeling Limited, have always been known for their idiosyncratic use of music, the result of his successful collaboration with supervisor Randall Poster, who has worked on every one.
The Anderson and Poster-produced soundtrack to the 13-minute Bottle Rocket short film, which inspired the subsequent feature (and attracted James L. Brooks as executive producer), will be available digitally for the first time December 9 on Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group to coincide with The Criterion Collection’s deluxe DVD release of the film, which will include the never-before-released short, November 25.
The jazz-oriented soundtrack features selections from Artie Shaw (“The Chant”), Sonny Rollins (“Old Devil Moon”), Chet Baker & Art Pepper (“The Route”), Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (“Stevie”), Art Blakey (Horace Silver Trio’s “Nothing but the Soul”), Zoot Sims Quartet (“Jane-O”) and two songs from one of Anderson’s favorites, Peanuts TV composer and west coast smooth jazz artist Vince Guaraldi (“Skating” and “Happiness Is”).
“I was listening to a lot of jazz at the time, especially Coltrane’s albums on Blue Note and Sonny Rollins’ A Night at the Village Vanguard,” explains Anderson . “I was inspired by the use of American jazz in French new wave movies like Breathless. I still love this music.”
“He seemed to take the outlaw nature of these jazz musicians and apply it to the would-be rebels in the film,” adds Poster, whose relationship with the filmmaker goes back to producing the original soundtrack to the Bottle Rocket feature.
That album, released in 1996 on London Records, included contributions from Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh, another frequent Anderson collaborator, as well as a typically diverse song list that featured the Scottish new wave group the Proclaimers (“Over and Done With”) as well as Afro-Peruvian artist Abelardo Vasquez (“Prendeme La Vela”) and the traditional Christmas song “Good King Wenceslas.”
“Since then, our careers have been linked,” explains Poster, who has also worked as a music supervisor with top directors including Martin Scorsese (The Aviator), David Fincher (Zodiac), Brian de Palma (Redacted), Sam Mendes (Jarhead, Revolutionary Road), Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale), Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, I’m Not There), Danny Boyle (A Life Less Ordinary) and Richard Linklater (Before Sunset, School of Rock). “So this kind of takes us back to the roots of that relationship. We wanted to make the music available to fans of our work. Wes is so well-known for the music in his movies, and this is the starting point. You can hear the seeds of that kind of musical creativity on this album.”
“The studio didn’t want us to use jazz in the feature version,” laments Anderson . “We didn’t license a lot of this music at the time because we couldn’t afford it.”
Several musical elements on the Bottle Rocket short emerge in later Anderson works, including an Art Blakey drum solo which pops up in both Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums, Zoot Sims in Rushmore and especially, Vince Guaraldi’s music for the Peanuts TV specials, also in Rushmore.
“Wes is a real inspiration,” says Poster. “We really have a lot of fun working together. It’s an ongoing dialogue and a rewarding relationship. He allows me to get involved in so many different aspects of filmmaking. It’s always nice to be near genius. I think we’ve made some movies that will stand the test of time, and managed to turn people on to music that was undervalued and overlooked. He has such wonderful taste and great instincts for using music and choreographing it with stunning imagery and great emotion.”
“I’m just very happy that we can put out this soundtrack to the Bottle Rocket short and present the music properly,” adds Anderson . “This is some of my favorite jazz music and Fantasy is the perfect company to release it.”