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Tyler Perry’s film “A Jazzman’s Blues” to premier on Netflix on Sep. 23

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Netflix
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During the last few years, jazz and blues have been a source of inspiration for several films, including “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “The US vs. Billie Holiday,” “One Night in Miami,” “Soul” and “Sylvie’s Choice.” Tyler Perry joins the party with the debut of his Netflix film A Jazzman’s Blues on September 23. With songs arranged and produced by Terence Blanchard, the film features juke joint blues in the deep South as the initial setting for a “Romeo and Juliet” tale of two young people, Bayou, a musician played by Joshua Boone and Leanne, played by Solea Pfeiffer.

Milan Records has just released a single—“Paper Airplanes”—from the Ethiopian-Canadian singer-songwriter Ruth B. whose composition serves as a leitmotif for the star-crossed love depicted in the film.

“After having initial discussions and going over the script with Tyler Perry’s team, I knew what Bayou’s and Leanne’s song needed to be – a song of longing and deep, timeless love, a once-in-a-lifetime love,” said Ruth B. in a press release received at WBGO. “I am endlessly thankful to Tyler Perry for trusting me with this song and giving me the opportunity to write my first original song for a major motion picture. A Jazzman’s Blues is an absolutely beautiful and classic story filled with depth and truth, and I’m so excited for the world to see.”

In the same press release, Perry explained that he was looking for something timeless for the song, given the 40-year span of the story. “I was overjoyed to work with Ruth B. who wrote and performed our song ‘Paper Airplanes,’” Perry said. “This was a song we wanted to be an instant classic that would sound at home in 1947 as well as today. A great song is an extension of dialogue and ‘Paper Airplanes’ is exactly that. It speaks of heartbreak and the longing of love that spans distance, time, and tragedy. Ruth B. brought all of that to this magnificent song.”

Watch the official trailer here:

The ensemble cast includes Amirah Vann, Austin Scott, Milauna Jemai Jackson, Brent Antonello, Brad Benedict, Kario Marcel, Lana Young and Ryan Eggold. The film’s music was composed by Aaron Zigman, with music supervision by Joel C. High and choreography by the legendary Debbie Allen.

For over 27 years, Lee Mergner served as an editor and publisher of JazzTimes until his resignation in January 2018. Thereafter, Mergner continued to regularly contribute features, profiles and interviews to the publication as a contributing editor for the next 4+ years. JazzTimes, which has won numerous ASCAP-Deems Taylor awards for music journalism, was founded in 1970 and was described by the All Music Guide, as “arguably the finest jazz magazine in the world.”