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Film on Producer Tom Dowd Gets August Release Date

In August, Palm Pictures will release a feature documentary on the life and work of record-man Tom Dowd (pictured), who produced rock acts like Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers Band for Atlantic Records, and who also served the label as an engineer, working with jazz artists like Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and John Coltrane. Tom Dowd and the Language of Music will enjoy a nation-wide theatrical release on August 13 and will hit retail stores on DVD August 24.

The DVD’s special features boast over 80 minutes of bonus footage, including deleted scenes, 5.1 mix and interviews with Clapton, Ray Charles, Phil Ramone and more.

The Language of Music tells Dowd’s story through interviews with recording industry icons, historical footage, photographs and classic music tracks. The film features appearances by Clapton, Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and the Allman Brothers Band.

The Language of Music was an official selection at the 2003 Sundance, Toronto and SXSW film festivals. The film has been receiving rave reviews in publications nationwide. Premiere called it “a compelling portrait of a man who lived to capture lightning in a bottle” and Film Threat has said that “music fans of every stripe should kill to see this film-one of the very best music documentaries in recent years.”

Dowd, born in 1925, grew up with a background in science, but eventually applied that background to the world of music. Dowd helped introduce biaural studio recording to Atlantic, a company he helped establish, and helped build the label’s first eight-track console. Dowd engineered Coltrane’s Giant Steps, Mingus’ Oh Yeah and Coleman’ s landmark Free Jazz. He also produced classic records for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dusty Springfield, Otis Redding, Dizzy Gillespie, Cream, Rod Stewart and numerous others.

Dowd left Atlantic in 1967 and spent the remainder of his career as a freelance producer. He died on October 22, 2002 of a longtime respiratory disease at the age of 77.

More information on the film can be found at its Web site:

Originally Published