Despite cornetist Buddy Bolden's legendary reputation as one of jazz's founding fathers, his legacy is literally silent - no recordings exist of his playing. The long-gestating biopic of his life, Bolden, by writer-director Dan Pritzker, finally opens in the United States on Saturday.
And Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who hails from Bolden's hometown of New Orleans, is the logical choice to recreate Bolden's music.
Given the 57-year-old's lifelong interest in defining the jazz canon and his championing of traditional forms, it is no surprise that he delivers a soundtrack rooted solidly in the history of this musical genre.
The opening salvo on the first track is a dissonant brass fanfare which soon melts into a classic call-and-response between Marsalis' bright trumpet and the brass ensemble in a New Orleans marching band stomp. This sets the tone for the 26-track album, which wends its way through early jazz standards such as Basin Street Blues and Muskrat Ramble to Marsalis-penned originals.
Much of the musical personnel is drawn from his long-time associates from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, including trumpeter Marcus Printup and saxophonists Sherman Irby, Ted Nash and Victor Goines.
There are some standouts on the album.
BOLDEN (ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK)
Blue Engine Records
Singer Catherine Russell offers a classy take on the rather scandalous invitation to adultery in the rarely heard vocal version of Make Me A Pallet On The Floor.
Creole Belles is a melodic recreation of the turn-of-the-century music style where American folk forms were being tentatively introduced into European classical structures.
This album is a snapshot of jazz music's evolution, delivered with the energy and rigour one has come to associate with Marsalis' more ambitious musical projects.