Bruce Hornsby scores Spike Lee doc

Songwriter has a cameo in 'World's Greatest Dad'

NEW YORK -- After years of successful recording achievements, Bruce Hornsby is taking his work to the silver screen. The singer and songwriter of late-80's hits like "The Way It Is" and "The Valley Road" has composed the score to "Kobe Doin' Work," an upcoming documentary on basketball superstar Kobe Bryant directed by Spike Lee. The film, slated to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 25, features the first score ever written by the 54-year-old Grammy winner.

"I've been asked for years to do this, but I've never had the time," Hornsby said. He said that when he was contacted about the score by Lee, whom Hornsby has closely worked with on various music videos and soundtrack songs since 1992, it was an easy project to sign on to. "It was a good way to get my feet wet in this area," he said. "There was some trepidation obviously, since I had never done this before, but it turned out to be a natural process. It was like an open canvas to throw paint on; I felt very free musically."

The film offers an insider's look into Bryant's persona on and off the basketball court. A basketball fan who has attended court side New York Knicks games with Lee, Hornsby described the writing process as "creating different themes" for the various basketball players featured in the movie. While Lee initially wanted only eight to ten minutes of backing music for "Kobe Doin' Work," the finished film includes 35-40 minutes of Hornsby's original material.

Hornsby will again be present at the multiplex later this summer, with a cameo and featured music in the Robin Williams comedy "World's Greatest Dad." He also plans to release a new album with his band Bruce Hornsby & the Noise Makers later this year.

In terms of following up his first cinematic score, however, Hornsby said that working with Lee has opened him up to composing more in the future. "I would certainly entertain any offers," he said, "although I can't imagine a scenario being as enjoyable as this."