Friendsofmurphylibrary's Blog

Mo’ Better Blues – a love song to jazz

Posted on: October 25, 2009

All Bleek Gilliam wants to do is play the sultry sounds of jazz on his trumpet. That is, when he’s not trying to hold his quartet together and his women apart. The Murphy Library is showing Spike Lee’s love song to jazz, “Mo’ Better Blues,” Thursday at 6 p.m. It runs 130 minutes and is rated R.

Denzel Washington stars as Bleek Gilliam, along with Lee, Wesley Snipes, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Nunn. Branford Marsalis wrote and performed the concert pieces in the film and Spike Lee’s father, Atlanta-born Bill Lee, composed the jazzy score. In addition, songs by John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie remind us the grand old men of jazz are never far away.

Moreover, Lee fits his favorite New York spots into the jazzy rhythms. Harlem, Greenwich Village, Park Slope, and Broadway light up the scenes. The Brooklyn Bridge is there too. Most of all, it’s about the music.

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