Jazz News

December 18, 2020

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Press

The 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' sountrack is out today! Available now.

Check out the interviews and videos where Branford talks about composing the music for 'Ma Rainey'.

"El Train" - video
Composer Branford Marsalis on "Levee's Song" - video
Neflix Film Composer Roundtable - video

Gold Derby
(Joyce Eng)
How Branford Marsalis recreated the perfectly imperfect style of 1920s blues for ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’
When Branford Marsalis was announced as the composer for Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which stars Viola Davis as the legendary “Mother of the Blues” 1920s singer Ma Rainey, it seemed like a perfect fit — and he felt so too. A music historian, Marsalis, who leads the jazz band the Branford Marsalis Quartet, was familiar with the sound of 1920s blues and knew exactly how to approach the score for the Netflix film. (Watch video and read full article.)

(Jazz Tangcay)
Branford Marsalis on the Music of ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ and Chadwick Boseman’s Performance
...“Ma was really successful and super famous, and preceded Bessie Smith,” says composer Branford Marsalis, who delivered the film’s score and music. “Without Ma Rainey, there wouldn’t be a Bessie Smith. Without a Bessie Smith, there wouldn’t be a Billie Holiday.” (Read full article.)

Boston Herald
(Jed Gottlieb)
Branford Marsalis set tone for Ma Rainey’s style authenticity
Branford Marsalis seems comfortable with any musical style. While this claim hasn’t been fully tested (we’re still waiting on his ska punk record), Marsalis’ elasticity has expanded to encompass hard bop with Art Blakey, French classical music with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, pop with Sting, hippie jams with the Grateful Dead, and repeated soundtrack work with Spike Lee. (Read full article.)

St. Louis Post Dispatch
(Kevin Johnson)
'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' composer Branford Marsalis says blues legend Rainey commanded attention
Taking on the task of writing the score for "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," streaming Dec. 18 on Netflix, was a no-brainer for jazz legend Branford Marsalis.

When director George C. Wolfe called Marsalis about the job, it was an easy “yeah, cool.” The two had worked together on the 2017 HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." (Read full article.)