Original Score composed by Aaron Zigman
Label: New Line
Year: 2004

1. Main Title
2. Overture
3. "I'll Be Seeing You" (Billie Holiday)
4. "Alabamy Home" (Duke Ellington) 
5. Allie Returns 
6. House Blues/The Porch Dance/The Proposal/The Carnival 
7. Noah's Journey 
8. "Always And Always" (Benny Goodman & His Orchestra) 
9. "A String Of Pearls" (Glenn Miller & His Orchestra) 
10. On The Lake 
11. "Diga Diga Doo" (Rex Stewart And The Ellingtonians) 
12. "One O'Clock Jump" (Benny Goodman & His Orchestra) 
13. "I'll Be Seeing You" (Jimmy Durante) 
14. Noah's Last Letter 
15. Our Love Can Do Miracles 

Total Time: 66:54

Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha


The Notebook, based on the acclaimed best selling novel by Nicholas Sparks ("A Walk To Remember", "Message In A Bottle"), is the story of a young couple, Noah and Allie, who are separated by class differences and the World War II. After 14 years apart, they meet again and rekindle their true love. Starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands, The Notebook is directed by Nick Cassevetes, who hired the composer/producer/arranger Aaron Zigman to write a score recreating elements of the 1940's music. 

Along the years Aaron Zigman has worked extensively as a music producer, arranger and producer for recording artists including Seal, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, Tina Turner and Carly Simon. Zigman's work has also been featured on film soundtracks like
Mulan, The Bircage and Pocahontas, but The Notebook is only his second original film score. His first foray came from another Nick Cassavetes film, 2002's John Q, starring Denzel Washington, but this time his score has to stands alongside some truly great 1940's music from universally recognized masters. The album features not one but two versions of "I'll Be Seeing You", one from Billie Holliday and the other from Jimmy Durante. Each has its own qualities, using the talent of each vocalist to shed new light and bring new meaning to the song.

Duke Ellington appears on track four with "Alabamy Home." Benny Goodman and his Orchestra give us "Always and Always", as well as "One O'Clock Jump." "A String of Pearls" comes to us thanks to the great Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, and Rex Stuart and the Ellingtonians sing "Diga Diga Doo". I must confess I was not familiar with this kind of music (except for the Glen Miller standards), and this CD served to me as a great introduction to it.

In addition to this classic WWII era pieces included on disc, Zigman provided a score that enhance the film with beautifully inspired themes, like the piano-solo "Main Title" and the string-based "Overture". One of the most appealling qualities of Zigman's music here is how it contains and displays the classical elements needed to emulate the music reminiscent of the period, and how it blends with the song compilation. The score is performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony, augmented by some jazz greats including Dan Higgins, Gary Grant, Bill Reichenbach, Warren Luening, Dean Parks, Jimmie Wood, Charlie Loper and Robert Zimmitti. And for a final touch on recreating the era's sound, the score's jazz music was recorded with sound equipment from the 1940's.

Besides the jazz music ("House Blues / The Porch Dance / The Proposal / The Carnival" is a remarkable and delicious eight minute suite), Zigman's themes are quite simple but dramatic, soothing and lyrical, able to relax and to touch the listener in a very effective and elegant way. Listen to
"Allie Returns", "Noah's Journey", "On the Lake" or the finale "Our Love Can Do Miracles" and you will find why the composer is rapidly establishing himself in Hollywood, thanks to his lyrical and evocative scores.