Home > Reviews > RACHEL GETTING MARRIED – Donald Harrison Jr. and Zafer Tawil

RACHEL GETTING MARRIED – Donald Harrison Jr. and Zafer Tawil

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Rachel Getting Married is a gritty, adult drama directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Anne Hathaway in a breakout role which is tipped for Oscar success in 2009. Shot in faux-documentary style, Hathaway stars as Kym, a troubled, self-absorbed young woman who has been in and out from rehab for the past 10 years, who returns home for the weekend for her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt)’s wedding, causing long-standing family tensions to rise to the surface.

The film, which also stars Bill Irwin and Debra Winger, has original music from two very diverse sources: Louisiana-born jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., who is a contemporary of Terence Blanchard, and New York-based Palestinian musician Zafer Tawil, who is a virtuoso on various ethnic string instruments (including the oud and the qanun), and is a ‘master of Arabic percussion’.

Tawil’s cues include the simple solo violin “Wedding Waltz”, the slightly more exotic “Kym’s Homecoming”, and the peculiar “Ethan’s Theme”, which has a humming/groaning vocal effect underneath all the unfocused plucking. Harrison’s contribution is the “Rachel Loves Sidney” track and its reprise, a slightly funkier and upbeat jazz/mambo piece which, naturally, features Harrison on solo trumpet.

The rest of the album is padded out with various indie rock and jazz pieces, including actor Tunde Adebimpe’s unadorned version of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend”, a very bizarre version of “Here Comes the Bride” for electric guitar and drum kit, and a couple of tracks by Robyn Hitchcock, who was the subject of a Demme documentary in 1998.

The odd thing about the entire album is that much of it seems to have been thrown together on the fly – Tawil’s pieces especially include a lot of noticeable background room ambiences – chairs creaking, and so on – which lend it a slightly amateurish air which is quite disappointing for a Demme production. It’s really quite a dull album, with very little that will be of real interest to score fans, unless you’re crazy about oud solos.

Rating: *½

Track Listing:

  • Unknown Legend (performed by Tunde Adebimpe) (2:27)
  • Wedding Waltz (1:45)
  • Kym’s Homecoming (2:59)
  • America (performed by Robyn Hitchcock) (4:39)
  • Here Come the Bride (performed by Brooklyn Demme and Barry Eastmond Jr.) (0:51)
  • Rachel Loves Sidney (1:23)
  • Samba for Shiva (performed by Cyro Baptista and Beat The Donkey) (2:27)
  • Ethan’s Theme (2:45)
  • Up to Our Nex (performed by Robyn Hitchcock) (3:44)
  • Dread Natty Congo (performed by Sister Carol East) (4:56)
  • Dancing with Shiva (performed by Black Bombay) (5:16)
  • It’s Been Done (performed by Angela McCluskey) (3:57)
  • Lower Ninth Ward Blues (performed by Al “Carnival Time” Johnson) (3:24)
  • In My Soul (performed by Tavash Graham featuring Tamyra Gray) (2:33)
  • Trilla (performed by Brooklyn Demme) (2:59)
  • Rachel Loves Sidney (Reprise) (4:17)

Running Time: 50 minutes 22 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-34042 (2008)

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