Episode 37: John Ridley On The Music Of Guerrilla, 12 Years A Slave And Jimi Hendrix

Apr 21, 2017, 11:59 AM

John Ridley describes Idris Elba as a Renaissance man; were he not so humble, he might just as easily apply the expression to himself. An Oscar-winning screenwriter for the magnificent 12 Years A Slave, he's also a dab hand at directing, producing, novel-writing and (believe it or not) stand-up comedy.

He's ferociously thoughtful, considered and intelligent too, so our latest offering is as much about sociology and politics as sound.

John's latest project is Guerrilla, made by the ever-reliable Showtime and available in full via Sky Atlantic. Staring Idris, Frieda Pinto and Babou Ceesay, it focusses on the little-known story of the British Black Panther movement in 1970s London. In addition to some rare contemporary grooves from that, you'll hear extracts from Hanz Zimmer's score for 12 Years A Slave, Waddy Watchel's bespoke arrangements for the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, and a spot of Carter Burwell's work on 3 Kings (which John scripted).

But in putting this episode together, we owe a special debt of gratitude to his music supervisor on Guerrilla, Sarah Bridge. Not only did Sarah provide us with hard-to-find source tracks by Britain's first ever all-black rock group Noir, she also delivered examples from Max Richter's score - including Love Song, the piece that plays under Edith's introduction.

Perhaps most excitingly, though, she's given us an exclusive recording of Femi Kuti's track Look Around, which he actually performed live for a club scene that features in the narrative ...