Had the pleasure of playing piano for a number of scenes in the movie The Immigrant, under the direction of composer Christopher Spelman. I remember for a couple scenes, bar room scenes, that the music needed to sound as if it was being payed from the early 1900’s…….wish I hadn’t nodded off in all those music history classes (just kidding)…..actually as a musician when you play jazz, there’s that feeling of swing, that deep pocket and feeling, that’s such a part of the music that we all crave…but this gig had me thinking, when exactly did Louis Armstrong make his way to Chicago and later to New York with the Fletcher Henderson Big Band? For these scenes the music needed that bar room bawdy energy but the feeling of swing as we know today had not yet involved….these few hours in the studio felt like a form of time travel. In the end we nailed it. Working on this film with Chris Spelman, James Gray, and recording engineer Scott Jacoby was a joy! Hope you like the movie.
You can check it out on Netflix.
Director: James Gray
Composer: Christopher Spelman
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cottilard, Jeremy Renner