A young boy stumbles upon a simple way to change the world in this drama. Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) is a bright 11-year-old boy who comes from a troubled home; his mother Arlene (Helen Hunt) is an alcoholic trying to hold down two jobs to support her son, while Trevor's father Jon Bon Jovi) left his family behind some time ago. At school, Trevor's class is introduced to their new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet (Kevin Spacey), a guarded man with severe facial scars. Simonet gives his class an unusual assignment – think up a practical way to make the world a better place, and put it into action. Trevor comes up with the notion of Pay It Forward" – do a needed favor for three different people without being asked, and then ask them to do the same for three others. Trevor starts by letting Jerry (James Caviezal), a junkie living on the streets, stay in his home. Next, he tries to fix Arlene up with Mr. Simonet, since both seem to be lonely and the clean and sober teacher might help Arlene stay away from alcohol.
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The title pretty much says it all. These 10 new compositions and well-chosen covers play like a scrapbook of pianist/composer Brown’s favorite sounds. There’s the daredevil, highly technical ensemble swinging that sometimes seems like the signature of his alma mater, Berklee School of Music. There’s the propulsive bounce of the Fender Rhodes electric piano that will always feel like a trapdoor to the 1970s, that decade when Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea and a few others nailed it and made it a permanent part of the jazz soundscape.
Spyro Gyra's first album for MCA after their longtime label, GRP-Crescendo, was absorbed into its corporate parent, 1990's Fast Forward carries the curious band subtitle "featuring Jay Beckenstein." Saxophonist Beckenstein has certainly always been the band's leader, writing a good chunk of the material and producing the albums, but given that the lineup is basically unchanged from the previous few Spyro Gyra albums, the new nomenclature is puzzling. It also goes against Spyro Gyra's entire musical aesthetic, as the group's unabashedly commercial and melodic style works against the traditional jazz concept of soloists and sidemen.