The Grammy Award winning composer, arranger, saxophonist Bob Belden – whose critically-acclaimed debut CD Treasure Island, was released on Sunnyside in 1989 -- marks his return to the label with his truly superb soundtrack, Three Days of Rain, a 2003 film directed by Michael Meredith, starring Peter Falk and Blythe Danner.
With the added attraction of pop superstar Lyle Lovett spinning the music as a radio DJ, the Belden-composed and arranged selections move with the modern, urbane swing of Duke Ellington’s Anatomy of a Murder, groove like Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and soothe with the same noir nuances of Miles Davis’s atmospheric Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud. Lovano’s warm-blooded, full-bodied tenor tones illuminates the dark emotional landscape in quartet and quintet configurations. The title track has a mournful Round Midnight, quality, while the midtempo “Blues For Dennis,” swings in a Grant Green mood. On “Homeless (Quartet)” and the Latin-tinged “Falling Down” Wendholt takes the spotlight, with his economical, buttery lines. “Panic,” showcases Lovano in a rare alto clarinet solo. The eloquent Copland/Rueckert/McGuirk triad provides the seductive syncopations on “Conscience” and “Tess Montage,” counterpointed by “Tess,” with the Hays/Burno/Chamber trio. The CD concludes with “End Title (Master),” soulfully serenaded by Jason Moran’s southern sonorities. “…[I] had to create motifs for each personality,” Belden wrote, “The Drunk, The Old Woman, The Paranoid Woman, The Slow Man-Child, The Guilty Couple, The Child Killer, The Remorseful … all standard psychological elements of Chekhov’s plays.”
Reviews"Bob Belden is a master of mood. As heard on 1997's Tapestry or 2001's Black Dahlia, Belden knows how to get maximum sound from minimal ensembles and imbue them with deep feeling. Three Days of Rain, the soundtrack to the 2003 film directed by Michael Meredith, is no exception, and may be Belden's most enjoyable record to date.