- Released: December 1, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Shake That Thing - Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra
- 2.I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise - Rufus Wainwright
- 3.Somebody Stole My Gal - The Original Memphis Five
- 4.Fireworks - The Original Memphis Five
- 5.Thanks - Bing Crosby with Jimmy Grier & His Orchestra
- 6.Happy Feet - Manhattan Rhythm Kings
- 7.After You've Gone - Loudon Wainwright Iii
- 8.Moonglow - Benny Goodman
- 9.I Can't Give You Anything But Love - Django Reinhardt
- 10.Ain't Cha Glad - David Johansen
- 11.Nightmare - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
- 12.Stardust - Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks Orchestra
- 13.Do I Worry? - The Ink Spots
- 14.I'll Be Seeing You - Martha Wainwright
- 15.Back Beat Boogie - Harry James & His Orchestra
- 16.Moonlight Serenade - Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
- 17.Howard Hughes - Leadbelly
For his film about the early career of Howard Hughes, legendary director Martin Scorcese (famed for his excellent use of music in movies) wisely chose to use period material. Thus, the soundtrack of THE AVIATOR is occupied both by recordings from the late 1920s-early '40s, and by contemporary versions of songs from that era, done in the style of the day. In lesser hands, such an undertaking could have been a crass, mismatched train wreck, but THE AVIATOR album segues with almost shocking ease between the two.
Vince Giordano & his Nighthawks Orchestra, a NYC-based early-jazz revival band, contribute a number of pre-swing jazz instrumentals, and as things progress chronologically, the swing sounds of Benny Goodman ("Moonglow") and Glenn Miller ("Moonlight Serenade") creep in. Along the way, the Wainwright family represents surprisingly well, with a track each from Loudon, Rufus, and Martha, and even David Johansen gets in on the act (not a shock, considering his penchant for covering pre-rock material). Things close appropriately with blues giant Leadbelly singing "Howard Hughes," a musical tribute to THE AVIATOR himself.