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"The Soloist"

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by LouisF, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    The film is out with Robert Downey, Jr. playing LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and Jamie Foxx playing Nathaniel Ayers. It's based on Lopez' columns and subsequent book about his relationship with the the street musician and former Julliard prodigy.

    The only problem is that the film makes Ayers a cellist, when he was actually a brilliant, troubled bass student at Juliiard.

    Jeez, even when we're down and out and living on the streets - we still don't get no respect!

  2. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    I noticed that too, which is irritating to say the least. I guess Jamie Foxx didn't think he could learn the DB, so the director went with the 'cello instead. :scowl:
  3. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    Very silly-the schlep factor alone could have added another dimension to the story. I say boycott.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Who did he study with in Cleveland or at Julliard?
  5. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's in the book -which I've loaned to someone at the moment - and I can't recall off-hand. I'll check later.

  6. He studied with Homer Mensch at Juilliard.
  7. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I think for the great unwashed, non-musical public, the cello "reads" as a more legit classical instrument. It's untainted. If you're a virtuoso on that little thing there's little chance you're some kind of mouth-breathing, drug-abusing jazz player.
  8. zeytoun


    Dec 19, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Didn't he play cello (and violin) when he was homeless in LA? Or does the movie also portray him as playing cello all the way back to his Julliard days (and earlier)?
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I saw the movie not knowing it was based on a real story... it was an entertaining movie. I'm not a Jaime Foxx fan at all, but he acted it well. I do like Robert Downey Jr, he was at his usual level.
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Did a little searching on line and found this in an article by Steve Lopez (from page 2 of the online version):

    "Everything he had told me about his life was checking out, so I figured Juilliard must be for real too.

    Sure enough.

    Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, who sleeps on the streets of the city, takes his meals at the Midnight Mission and plays a two-string violin, attended the acclaimed New York City music school on a scholarship.

    Nathaniel told me a bass player named Homer Mensch was one of his mentors at Juilliard. Mensch, 91, is still teaching, and he immediately recalled Nathaniel.

    "He had the talent, that was for sure," said Mensch, who remembered that Nathaniel had suddenly disappeared, never to return. I told him Nathaniel's illness had begun while he was at Juilliard and he was now a homeless violinist in downtown L.A.

    "Give him my very best," said Mensch. "I would certainly like to hear from him." "

    Here's the link:

  11. rdwhit


    Mar 18, 2006
    Louisville ky
    There was a segment about Ayers on 60 Minutes. They said he was originally a bass player. He was playing mostly cello & a little violin in the streets, & trumpet a few times. The cello was what he seemed to played best in the segment. It seems natural for him to do that in the movie imho.

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