Studio films with pure jazz scores are few and far between in this day and age. Unlike the ’60s when composers like Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin churned them out, most filmmakers gravitate toward suspenseful strings or synthesized sounds. Composer and Grammy-winning artist Antonio Sanchez’s use of jazz in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman isn’t just the first in some years, it’s also an anomaly: The score is fully loaded with drum solos, and may be the only film ever to have percussion as its sole instrument. It’s a bold filmmaking choice as ballsy as Inarritu’s decesion to display Birdman as one long camera shot. However Sanchez’s use of brushes-on-snare and sticks-on-metal-drum-keys truly captures the insanity of has- been actor Riggan Thomson’s (Michael Keaton) world and the insaner characters who populate it, i.e. his druggie daughter (Emma Stone), the clingy actress girlfriend who believes she is carrying Riggan’s child (Andrea Roseborough) and the egotistical destructive lead actor starring in his Broadway play (Edward Norton). Below are two tracks from the movie, “Strut Part II” and “Doors & Distance”. Take a listen. Ironically, Sanchez is not the drummer who is playing in the movie. Fox Searchlight opens Birdman on Oct. 17.
“Strut Part II”
“Doors and Distance”