Buddy Bolden who was also known as King Bolden was the first superstar of the music that we now called jazz. His life is filled with legends and myths, add to that his actual life story and you have the basis for a great film about the genesis of jazz. Charles Joseph Bolden played cornet in the early ragtime and jazz ensembles of New Orleans beginning around 1898 and his band became very popular until the end of his music career in 1907 when Buddy was only 30 years old. Buddy was known to play so loud that his cornet could be heard across the mighty Mississippi River, some even say “he blew his brains out” which lead him to be institutionalized for the rest of his life beginning in 1907, he passed away in 1931 at 54 years of age. One thing is certain, he was the creator of the “Big Four”, a marching band beat that early jazz musicians played. A curious sidebar is that King Bolden was the first to write a song with funky in the title, the renown Funky Butt (I Thought I heard Buddy Bolden Say.) Buddy was also the first musician to improvise and he heavily influenced early NOLA cornet and trumpet players such as King Oliver, Freddie Keppard, Bunk Johnson and a youngster by the name of Louis Armstrong.
Slated for a May 3rd release, Bolden, the bio-film will depict the life of King Bolden as accurately as possible and with authentic music of the era. Growing up on New Orleans, bandleader and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis studied the life of Buddy and as a teenager had the opportunity to talk to surviving musicians from the Bolden period to get first-hand insight into the man and his music. Because of that, there’s no better choice than Wynton to be the person to put together the soundtrack and score. The Bolden O.S.T. features fellow members of Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and an array of special guests like vocalists Catherine Russell, Remo Wilson, and newcomer Brianna Thomas. Dr. Michael White plays the clarinet, Wycliffe Gordon chimes in on trombone and Don Vappie strums both the banjo and guitar and adds his vocals on 1 track as well. The soundtrack on Blue Engine Records, the label for Lincoln Center, contains 26 selections, instrumentals, and vocals, all capturing the essence of the Buddy Bolden time frame. Copy and paste this link to see the official trailer for the movie Bolden, Where the Music Began
I’m confident that after you see the film you too will be saying: “I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say!”
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