Mo' Better Blues
Spike Lee's 1990 directing effort is a jazz film, the story of a fictional trumpeter named Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington). He leads a quintet at the Beneath the Underground club with a flashy saxophonist named Shadow Henderson (Wesley Snipes). Though Shadow takes a few too many solos, everything seems fine in Bleek's life. Trouble soon arises, however, and he is forced to make decisions regarding both his best friend Giant (Spike Lee), and his relationships with two women. Giant, his manager and old pal, is addicted to gambling and often gets roughed up by thugs looking for pay back. Bleek is the only member of the quintet who wants to keep him as manager. The trumpeter's woman problems concern trying to decide between two girlfriends who both love him: a schoolteacher (Joie Lee) and a singer (Cynda Williams). Spike's father Bill Lee scored the film, with contributions from Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Abbey Lincoln and Ruben Blades (who plays Giant's bookie).