Forrest Gump (1994) is one of the most successful films ever made, winning Tom Hanks his second successive Best Actor Oscar (he won the previous year for Philadelphia) as well as claiming the Best Picture Oscar and many other awards and nominations, including several for music. A unique fable of American life from the 1950s to the 80s, the film blends comedy, drama, war, romance and groundbreaking special effects into a social and political portrait of the passing years, all seen through the eyes of the intellectually challenged but immensely likeable Forrest Gump. The soundtrack is a double album featuring 31 classic pop tunes plus a suite from Alan Silvestri's rich orchestral music, represented more completely on the companion score album. Opening with Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog", this is a fine anthology of three decades of American music, taking in everything from Joan Baez's "Blowin' In The Wind" to Aretha Franklin's "Respect", The Mammas and The Papas' "California Dreamin'" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson". Here also is Scott McKenzie with "San Francisco", plus Jefferson Airplane, the Supremes, Lynyrd Skynrd and many more. Like American Graffiti (1973), this is one of the great pop soundtracks, happily at home in just about any music collection.
Tenorist Doug Lawrence, a veteran soloist who paid his dues in the Count Basie, Loren Schoenberg and Buck Clayton bands and the DMP All-Star Band, makes his belated debut as a leader on Soul Carnival. It swings mightily with strong rhythm section backing from pianist Tardo Hammer, bassist John Webber and drummer Leroy Williams. The Wes-like guitar work of Ray Macchiarola provides excellent counterpoint for the leader's soulful and bluesy tone. Lawrence has studied the tenor masters, and his own sound has taken on the warm, vibrant storytelling quality that made their music stand out.