The great acting by Campbell Scott, Stanley Tucci, Isabella Rossolini and Tony Shalhoub explains only some of the magic of Big Night, for the trio share the screen with shot after shot of mouthwatering food and a lively Italian-American score featuring Louis Prima, Rosemary Clooney, Claudio Villa, and Keely Smith. The appearance of Prima himself at a restaurant opening plays a crucial role in the film's plot, but his music included here tells a different, much more joyous and carefree, story. This is one of the few retro soundtracks that don't resort to kitsch or lounge clichés, and all the Italian-American tracks work together well. --Jason Verlinde (Amazon review)
This collection of music gives you a wide range of what is considered popular Italian music. From the traditional troubadour songs of Claudio Villa to the diletto songs like 'Muntagna',to the swingin' jazz style of Prima, Big Night gives you a tasty sampling that echoes the tasty samplings of musical style much the same way the movie itself gives you samples of Italian cuisine. It's all about spice and flavor and passion! A lot of the songs on this soundtrack mention food or have food themes in them. Very enjoyable, whether you understand the language or not. You can feel the passion of the people in the music, and that's what popular songs are all about.
The music is joyful, emotional, funny, melancholy; it will make you laugh and cry (while smiling). The Louis Prima cuts are superb. Rosemary Clooney's "Mambo Italiano" is a classic. The whole collection of songs makes you long for more like them. Play it while you're cooking - play it loud!