Music: Jazz In Film

Terence Blanchard

Once upon a time, the jazz or jazz-inflected scores for movies like A Streetcar Named Desire and The Man with the Golden Arm were breakthroughs. Today the sound of a saxophone wailing in the night is as tired a film noir cliche as the battered fedora--the stuff of Carol Burnett sketches. But Blanchard, a trumpet player and film composer himself, finds new beauty and wit in the originals, fashioning mini-suites from the above-mentioned scores (and others) that shift between cinematic lushness and small-group drive. Blanchard's bruised, lyrical solo on Chinatown is a highlight--a freshly heard cry in the night.

--By...

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