He's not named in the movie, but it's known that the Rick Martin character is based on real-life musician, Bix Beiderbecke, although Martin's story and Beiderbecke's end differently. Martin is a wonderful jazz trumpeter, playing in the 1920s, having started to play when young, following his mother's death. Martin doesn't like the restrictions of playing in orchestras he performs with and gets fired when he improvises one night. He values the friendship of a singer named Jo Jordan and a jazz pianist named Smoke Willoughby, who support his kind of music.
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He forms his own group and achieves success. Jordan falls in love with Martin, but it's her friend, Amy North whom he prefers, and they eventually marry. The marriage isn't good and they argue a lot. Martin turns away from music, descending into alcoholism. When his wife destroys his record collection, the relationship ends. Jo Jordan and Willie Willoughby save him from his self-destruction, and Martin realises his love for Jordan. He returns to his music, too.
Best part of story, including ending:
I love the jazz score and the main character's struggle with his inner demons
Best scene in story:
When Rick Martin falls down drunk in the street and a cab runs over his trumpet, because it's so symbolic of his tragedy.
Opinion about the main character:
I like his emotional connection to the music. I dislike the weakness in his character.