Halfway through the 2003 Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl season, there still hasn't been a single, full evening of jazz uncluttered by ancillary genres. The season opened with a blues and jazz concert, followed by a gospel and jazz program, then an unsettling performance by bossa nova great Joao Gilberto.
Wednesday night's "The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard" program promised at least a reasonable amount of jazz from Blanchard's group and singer Dianne Reeves. From that perspective, there were some attractive moments. In the rare passages in which he stretched into straight-ahead soloing, Blanchard played with his familiar mix of articulateness and swing. His film scoring, most of it performed by a small orchestra, simmered with jazz sensibilities, especially in his themes for "Summer of Sam." And Reeves successfully applied her well-crafted style to several relatively lightweight songs from the Lee films.
Beyond that, there was a quick appearance by Chaka Khan, singing "Love Me Still," a song she wrote with Bruce Hornsby for Lee's film "Clockers"; some brief comments by Lee; and sets by guitarist-singer Raul Midon and the potent rap group Public Enemy. A diverse show, for sure, but -- once again -- with minimal jazz representation.