Branford Marsalis
Spike Lee films one more oddity in Bruce Hornsby's strange career

In 1986, a young musician living in Los Angeles named Bruce Hornsby achieved what so many young musicians hope for: a hit. It was hardly a barn burner, but with a catchy piano hook and a certain topicality about racism -- this was not long before Tawana Brawley -- "The Way It Is" gained significant air play and even made it to No. 1 on Billboard's Top 40. The album it anchored went platinum several times over. In the couple of years that followed, Hornsby and his band The Range had a few other chart successes, pop-rock ditties that harked back to Hornsby's small-town Southern upbringing with titles like "Mandolin Rain" and "The Valley Road." Though...