Michael Meredith’s 2002 film Three Days of Rain takes six stories loosely inspired by the writings of Anton Chekov and transfers them to modern-day Cleveland. The film is very much centred around the telling of human stories with the various vignettes featuring a variety of depressed individuals all who have their own problems to deal with. These gloomy stories are all intertwined with one another through the course of the film and are played out over a three-day rainstorm. One thing linking all the characters is that they are all listening into radio station WLOH during their story. Urban setting, rain-soaked streets, depressing human stories. Ideal setting for a quality jazz score you would think. So, in the film, the WLOH’s DJ (Lyle Lovett) plays jazz as part of a Jazz festival and it is this music that become the soundtrack of the film. American saxophonist, arranger and composer Bob Belden composes an excellent noir-ish jazz score that reflects the characters and their situations and is full of beauty.
This is a score that’s more Taxi Driver (Bernard Herrmann), with it’s downbeat loneliness mood (minus any twisted overtones), rather than the brash and energetic jazz scores of films such as Anatomy of A Murder (Duke Ellington) and Sweet Smell of Success (Elmer Bernstein). Several references have been made to Miles Davis’ film score for Ascenseur Pour L’échafaud as an example of a valid comparison for Three Days of Rain. Whatever the score may sound like, Belden’s score itself, on album, plays as if it were an out-and-out jazz album, free of the constraints of having to score to picture. Not having seen the film it is difficult to really understand how the music fits with the images. Read the rest of this entry »