The soundtrack to the Michael Caine film, but definitely a jazz record!
What’s it all about, Alfie? It’s all about the original soundtrack to the film classic Alfie and its jazz score, penned by legendary tenor player - and, in this case, composer - Sonny Rollins. It's no wonder that every tune leaves you humming. The album—arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson—features Rollins and an all-star cast, including notable sidemen such as Kenny Burrell, Jimmy Cleveland, J.J. Johnson and Roger Kellaway.
The films begins with Alfie Elkins (Caine) ending a relationship with a married woman and getting another of his affairs pregnant. The film then follows his life for an unspecified time, documenting events that lead to the character's emotional growth starting with the birth of his child.
Watching his child grow brings out a more caring side of Alfie, including his having a health check in case of hereditary diseases, but his inability to commit to the child's mother leads to her marrying a bus conductor. The health check reveals Alfie has shadows on his lungs. This combined with being banned from seeing his son leads him to have a small breakdown.
Alfie then spends some time in a convalescence home. Here he meets Harry, who confronts him about his delusion that he is doing no harm, and Harry's wife, who after recovering from he gets pregnant in a one-night stand. The subsequent abortion is a turning point for the character and the only time other than his passing out/breakdown where he exhibits real emotion - breaking down in tears at the sight of the aborted foetus.
At the film's climax, Alfie decides to change his non-committal ways and settle down. He chooses Ruby (Shelly Winters) a voluptuous and promiscuous American he met while working taking holiday photos. Unfortunately the day he chooses to suggest this to Ruby, he finds a younger man in her bed, leaving him disheartened at the film's end and wondering “What's it all about? You know what I mean”.
A beautiful soundtrack to the dark British comedy of the same name -- starring a young Michael Caine! You might expect it to be a bit schmaltzy, but it's pure jazz all the way through, and features strong inside playing by Rollins over lively orchestrations by Oliver Nelson -- filled with moody colors, great changes, and a vibrant sense of energy that's far deeper than the actual film!
The group includes
Phil Woods, Kenny Burrell, and J.J. Johnson, and they swing hard on all tracks.
Titles include the 10 minute workout of "Alfie's Theme", plus a shorter "Differently" version" -- plus "On Impulse", "Transition Theme", and "He's Younger Than You". Nice stuff throughout, and much more of a jazz album than a soundtrack! (Later MCA pressing, but with a reproduction of the orange & black label, and a liner note insert in a non-gatefold sleeve.)
see about the film here & here