Sunday, March 01, 2015

Whiplash: Ridiculous movie, amazing music

By Richard K. Barry

The music to the movie Whiplash is fantastic. It reminds me why I love ensemble jazz. Unfortunately, the movie is absurd. 

I get the whole idea that achieving greatness requires sacrifice and a single-focus.  I suspect, though, that this could have been conveyed without giving any oxygen to the thought that psychopathology should be a part of the equation. 

 Having said that, J. K. Simmons played a great psychopath and deserved the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, if for no other reason than to show us all what it would be like if Hannibal Lecter picked up a baton. 

"Whiplash," the song which provides the title of the movie, was written by Hank Levy (1927-2001), an American jazz composer and saxophonist whose works frequently made use of unusual time signatures.

Powerful stuff.

(Cross-posted at Listening To Now.)


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