Orbert Davis, Jazz Consultant to "Road to Perdition"


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Jazz historian and recording artist, Orbert Davis, who has spent the past decade leaving his imprint on the world through performances on more than 2500 radio and television commercials, several critically acclaimed concert appearances and a new CD, was called upon by DreamWorks Pictures to consult with Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") on music for the upcoming feature film release, “Road To Perdition", starring Two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks ("Forrest Gump," “Philadelphia") and Oscar-winning screen legend Paul Newman ("The Color of Money").

“I received a phone call from executive producer Joan Bradshaw, at her Chicago production office, to meet with Sam Mendes" says Orbert. “I hadn't seen “American Beauty" nor was I aware of Sam or his work. Therefore, I really didn't know what to expect. Sam was very knowledgeable in early jazz and had already chosen the music for the principle scenes. He asked for my perspective on the mindset and musicality of the 1930's Chicago musician. I convinced him to take a different approach by, instead of reproducing existing recordings, re-arranging works from the mid 1920's, early 30's period specifically for the film."

As it turned out, with assistance from long time collaborator Mark Ingram, Orbert produced and performed new recordings, did the casting of on-camera musicians and has a cameo appearance in the film.

“Road to Perdition" also stars Oscar nominee Jude Law ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle"), Daniel Craig ("Elizabeth"), Emmy and Golden Globe winner Stanley Tucci ("Winchell," “Conspiracy"), newcomer Tyler Hoechlin and young actor Liam Aiken ("Stepmom"). Academy Award winner Richard D. Zanuck ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Dean Zanuck and Sam Mendes produced “Road to Perdition," with Walter F. Parkes ("Gladiator") and Joan Bradshaw ("Cast Away") serving as executive producers. Sam Mendes directed the film from a screenplay by David Self ("Thirteen Days"), based on the serialized graphic novel written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner.

“Road to Perdition", a co-production of DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, opens nationwide July 12, 2002.

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