One of the most anticipated featured films of the year Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom arrives in time for the holidays!
Based on the August Wilson play, the film debuts today (December 18th) on Netflix, and follows the life and times of famed blues singer Ma Rainey, played by Oscar Winner Viola Davis as she steps into a recording studio one hot summer day in 1927 Chicago. Levee, played by the late Chadwick Boseman, portrays an ambitious young trumpet player and is a source of conflict as he dreams big about his future.
The classic film is scored by composer and trumpet impresario, Branford Marsalis’ whose music expresses the tensions between and dynamics of each character. Rather than seek out studio musicians for the soundtrack, Marsalis tapped home-grown, New Orleans musicians because “they have ‘outside voices.’ They play on the streets. The sound of their instruments would have been the same as in the 1920s when there were a lot of outdoor concerts — they have instruments such as coronets, banjos and tuba, and a lot of indoor studio musicians you’ll find don’t own coronets. These guys did.”
Produced by fellow actor and Academy Award winner, Denzel Washington, the authentic musicianship, along with the brilliant performances by Davis and Boseman, come together together as one in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Watch the trailer and enjoy the full film on Netflix.
Photo: Gage Skidmore