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Akeelah and the Bee

Aaron Zigman

This decade-long labor of love for director Doug Atchison stars Keke Palmer in the title role of an inner-city 11-year-old girl who triumphs over socioeconomic adversity to participate in the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Just two years after capturing attention with his score for
The Notebook, Aaron Zigman was given the tall order of investing Akeelah and the Bee with just the right mix of raw exuberance, honest emotion and contemporary urban cool. The resulting cues are a triumph of stylistic diversity, employing traditional orchestral arrangements to punctuate the film’s emotional highs; pulsating street rhythms laced with light jazz instrumentation to underline Akeelah’s acute, active mind and unique way of approaching adversity; and funk-infused R&B riffs to capture the tenor of Akeelah’s world. From the smooth grooves of "Prestidigitation," the knowing cool of his two "Scrabble" tracks and the soaring eloquence of "500 Flash Cards" and "Let Me Tell You About Dylan," Zigman captures the energy and passion of a determined, courageous and complex young girl.

Akeelah and the Bee
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