In the movie Short Cuts, Annie Ross, a jazz singer (formerly of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), plays a jazz singer, and Lori Singer, who can play cello, plays her cello-playing daughter. This soundtrack album of "music from and inspired by the film" alternates songs by Ross, many of which appear in the film, with classical music performances by Singer, alone and with a quartet. Although they sound like old jazz standards, most of the Ross songs are newly written pieces, with her singing, playing, and songwriting collaborators including a Who's Who of rockers--Bono and The Edge of U2, Terry Adams of NRBQ, Doc Pomus and Dr. John (who contribute four compositions), Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, and Michael Stipe of R.E.M. All of them subsume their usual tendencies to fit into the smoky, late-night ambience of the approach. And Ross, her voice full of knowledge beyond even the sophisticated lyrics, dominates the proceedings. The result is a brilliant album that works well with or without the movie it was constructed to accompany.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann