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Robbie Robertson’s Manager Jared Levine On Late Rocker’s Shorthand With Martin Scorsese On ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ Blues Score: “They Never Closed Any Avenues” – Crew Call Podcast

In Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, the late Robbie Robertson’s final original score, laced with Native American percussion and fierce electric guitar, captures the chilling tension that was building up in 1920s Oklahoma’s Osage Nation community.

The intense musical work, which Robertson composed while battling prostate cancer, was a labor of love for the five-time Grammy nominee given his own Mohawk tribal roots. He died in August at 80.

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On today’s Crew Call, we speak with The Band co-founder’s longtime manager Jared Levine, who expounds on Robertson’s process with his longtime friend Scorsese in mounting the three-hour epic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone.

RELATED: Martin Scorsese & Robbie Robertson To Receive Society of Composers and Lyricists Spirit of Collaboration Award 

“Being able to do work in the Native American music world was important to him,” says Levine. “This was the first film that he’d worked on with Marty that allowed him to go deep in that area.”

Leonardo DiCaprio, Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon
‘Killers of the Flower Moon’

Levine began working with Robertson in 1989 on the folk blues singer’s second solo album Storyville, which centered on the famous jazz homeland section of New Orleans.

Levine also regales how Robertson and Scorsese first met via The Band’s tour manager Jonathan Taplin. The latter became frustrated with the substance-abuse problems going on with legendary rock group at the time and departed the music scene to produce Scorsese’s early seminal crime feature, Mean Streets. Robertson was blown away by how Scorsese used music in Mean Streets, which ultimately led to him asking Scorsese (via Taplin) to direct The Last Waltz, the group’s final farewell concert film, shot on Thanksgiving Day 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

RELATED: Bob Dylan Speaks On Death Of Robbie Robertson, His “Lifelong Friend”

Talking about Robertson and Scorsese’s shorthand in their approach to the score, Levine said, “They never closed any avenues.”

The duo’s approach to experimentation led to “breaking the rules a little bit, doing things that didn’t seem to fit — electric guitars in a movie, in a score from 1920.”

Killers of the Flower Moon is Robertson’s first Oscar nomination. He worked in various music capacities on previous Scorsese features from composing on The Irishman to serving as an executive music producer on Silence, The Wolf of Wall Street and more.

You can listen to our conversation with Levine about Robertson below:

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