Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Cool Movie Soundtracks Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
Mo’ Better Blues (1990)
It’s hard to go wrong with just about any soundtrack from just about any Spike Lee joint: the go-go heavy School Daze, the Public Enemy–anchored Do the Right Thing, Stevie Wonder’s Jungle Fever, Prince’s Girl 6, and so on.
But Mo’ Better Blues may be the score that’s closest to Lee’s heart. The movie is partially inspired by his own jazz musician father, Bill Lee (who composed the title track), and it’s set to a mix of original Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard numbers that run the gamut of jazz styles, from sultry vocal ballads to snazzy melodic pop to avant-garde dissonance.
The album’s most vital track may be Gang Starr’s “Jazz Thing,” a hip-hop history of the genre that many neophytes have used as a recommendation list for what to listen to: from Theolonious Monk (“a melodious thunk”) to Ornette Coleman (“another soul man”).