Writer/director Dylan Kidd got a chance to make his script for Roger Dodger into a feature film when he boldly approached Campbell Scott in a café in Greenwich Village and made his pitch. Eventually, Scott would agree to executive produce and star in the film, and was responsible for bringing Jennifer Beals and Isabella Rossellini onboard. Scott stars as the eponymous Roger, a successful New York ad man and self-proclaimed master of reading and manipulating women. The film begins with Roger out for drinks with his co-workers and demonstrating his verbal gifts. "Words are my stock in trade," he explains as he expounds. But he soon learns that his boss, Joyce (Rossellini), wants to end their clandestine sexual relationship. Roger gets another shock when his teenaged nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg of TV's Get Real), shows up unannounced the next day at his job. Nick explains that he's in town for an interview at Columbia and soon admits that he wants Roger to take him out and give him a crash course on women.
Jennifer Higdon is a masterful colorist whose music is immediately appealing, full of energy and dash, but also with lyrical movements that grab you and hold your interest with their variety and melodic freshness. She can be brassy and bold like William Schuman and lushly Romantic like Samuel Barber, to mention just two American predecessors her music calls to mind. She also has a strong profile of her own, as we hear in City Scapes, a musical portrait of Atlanta that captures the bustle of a metropolis on the move. It's centerpiece, "river sings a song to trees," is wonderfully paced and engrossing. Concerto for Orchestra is a grand workout for a virtuoso band, teeming with solo turns that can tax all but the best musicians, and passages that spotlight sections of the orchestra with opportunities to strut their stuff. It's a brilliant piece brilliantly played by the Atlantans. Add Telarc's usual terrific sound and this disc becomes a must for fans of accessible modern music.