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People I Know (Music from the Motion Picture)

Terence Blanchard

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Album Review

People I Know, director Dan Algrant's film of Jon Robin Baitz's screenplay about a fading New York press agent played by Al Pacino, had trouble getting out of the gate due to unforeseen circumstances after being filmed in early 2001. It wasn't so much the fantasy shot of the World Trade Center on its side hallucinated by the main character, which was easy to edit out after September 11, 2001, as it was the film's themes of corruption and political intrigue — and its implicit criticism of suddenly sanctified New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — that no longer felt right after the terrorist attacks. Finally, the film was given an American theatrical release in the spring of 2003, though its commercial chances had long since been compromised. That's too bad for Terence Blanchard. The jazz trumpeter moved into film scoring with a series of efforts for director Spike Lee, starting with 1991's Jungle Fever, and he gradually made his way to more mainstream features, though his choices have been unfortunate. (He scored the disastrous Mariah Carey film Glitter, for instance.) That can be the fate of film composers, and if People I Know is another misfire, it's not because the music doesn't work. Blanchard has a good sense of the movie's odd mixture of thriller and social criticism, and while his score has the expected jazz accents, it also employs strong orchestral passages to underlie the dramatic elements. Jon Hendricks turns in excellent performances of "Bye Bye Blackbird" and his own composition "Nothing to Me" (featuring the phrase "It's just some people I know"), and Rickie Lee Jones' version of the former is borrowed from her 1991 Pop Pop album.

Biography

Born: March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the post-Wynton Marsalis era, jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard has become a most prominent brass player, bandleader, recording artist, orchestrator of film scores, and leader in the mainstream post-bop community. Born on March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Terence Oliver Blanchard was an only child to parents Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard. He began playing piano by the age of five, switched to trumpet three years later, and played alongside childhood friend Marsalis in summer band...
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