Spike Lee’s latest joint “Da 5 Bloods” is just a couple of weeks away from releasing on Netflix (June 12), and IndieWire is gearing up for the release with an exclusive track from the film’s original score. Composed by jazz musician and longtime Lee collaborator Terence Blanchard, it’s a stirring companion piece to the director’s war epic. Listen below. IndieWire also shares the album art for the original score.
“‘What This Mission’s About’ was such a complicated cue,” Blanchard said in a statement, while also revealing the track opens the film. “It took me five days to write because of the detail in the scene and the number of important aspects that were part of the storytelling process. Spike put together a brilliant opening sequence to this film and it was a joy, an honor, and a great experience to work on it. This is an amazing story. And again, Spike Lee has found a way to take an American tale and turn it into a visually stunning, artistic work of art. In doing so, he has pushed me to reach farther in my orchestrations and in my thematic development. It was such a pleasure creating music to accompany a story that addresses our individual humanity and the immorality of the Vietnam War.”
Blanchard has been a collaborator of Lee’s dating all the way back to 1989’s “Do the Right Thing,” when he performed in the band for the movie’s score. In 1991, Blanchard made his solo cinematic composing debut with “Jungle Fever,” and he most recently composed the original score for “BlacKkKlansman,” earning his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. His many scores for Lee include the scores to “Malcolm X,” “Summer of Sam,” “25th Hour,” “Inside Man,” and “Chi-Raq,” though Blanchard has also penned the music for films including “Eve’s Bayou,” “Love & Basketball,” “Barbershop,” “Red Tails,” and “Harriet.”
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“Da 5 Bloods” teams Lee with Chadwick Boseman, Jonathan Majors, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Delroy Lindo, and Clarke Peters, and centers on a group of African American Vietnam veterans who return to the country in search of the remains of their fallen leader, under the hope of possibly finding a buried treasure. The movie kicks off in 1968, as the five soldiers, while in the war-torn jungle of Vietnam, learn via radio broadcast that Martin Luther King Jr. has been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The assassination forces the group to face just how willing they are to fight on behalf of a country that doesn’t appear to care if they live or die.
The album will be available everywhere this Friday, May 29 from Milan Records.