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In theaters August 4th, The Tic Code is a film that depicts the life of a young jazz pianist who has Tourette’s syndrome. Inspired by the true-life story of her husband, Michael Wolff, Polly Draper’s script centers on a gifted twelve-year-old student of jazz piano. His name’s Miles. The young man has trouble coping with his neurological disorder, until his mother’s encouragement brings him closer to the New York jazz scene. Details of the Lions Gate film are available. The jazz score for this film was written by Michael Wolff.
As a soundtrack, the music includes several old favorites. Cannonball Adderley’s unmistakable voice introduces "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." Thelonious Monk plays piano on "Straight, No Chaser" and "Don’t Blame Me." Wayne Shorter performs "Ponta de Areia." Cal Tjader’s arrangement of "Soul Sauce," however, gets updated by Wolff’s New York Score Band with Dave Samuels on vibes and Don Alias on congas.
Most of the film’s score features pianist Wolff with a quartet that includes Alex Foster, John B. Williams and Dick Berk. The music follows the film’s plot and Wolff is careful not to intrude. Foster does a great job with his saxophone features; they’re portrayed in the film by Gregory Hines. Jazz, blues and gospel remain vital parts of the scenery. Bassist Williams plays his parts tastefully, while drummer Berk becomes too loud and obvious in places. It’s a film soundtrack with intended dynamics. Nice to see a jazz soundtrack with genuine roots performed tastefully and at the focus of attention.
Track Listing: Blues in Hoss
Personnel: Michael Wolff- piano; John B. Williams, Ron Carter, Christian McBride- acoustic bass; Dick Berk, Lenny White, Tony Williams- drums; Alex Foster- tenor saxophone; Dave Samuels- vibraphone; Don Alias- percussion.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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