With an amazing catalog of songs that includes "Over the Rainbow," "Stormy Weather," "It's Only a Paper Moon," "I've Got the World on a String," "Get Happy" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," it seems a criminal oversight that Harold Arlen's name doesn't resonate with the public the way Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and George & Ira Gershwin's do. The soundtrack to Larry Weinstein's 2004 film based on Arlen's life, this selection of jazz, pop and rock artists covering key Arlen pieces shows an impressive variety and vitality, ranging from Jimmy Scott's stylized, sparse and haunting take on "Over the Rainbow" to Rufus Wainwright's heavily orchestrated and effective version of "It's Only a Paper Moon" and Eric Mingus' screeching, funky rendition of "Get Happy." The performances are impressive, but the songs are the true stars here, as they should be.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett