This weekend, January 6 & 7, The Jazz Gallery is proud to present our inaugural Jazz on Film Festival. Curated by saxophonist (and former Jazz Speaks editor) Kevin Sun, the festival will feature six films on jazz from the past and present, showcasing a wide variety of styles and performers. Read on for the weekend’s schedule and descriptions of each film.
Friday, January 6th
Black Science: Steve Coleman & The World of M-Base
directed and produced by Natalie Bullock Brown | Run time—22 minutes
A documentary on the early musical ideas of Steve Coleman & M-Base, shot between 1993 – 1995.
Ornette: Made in America
Run time—77 minutes
Documentarian Shirley Clarke captures Ornette Coleman’s evolution over three decades. The film explores the rhythms, images and myths of America seen through the eyes of an artist’s ever-expanding imagination and experience.
“Tantalizing!… By virtue of the footage alone, it s a valuable time capsule for anyone drawn to Mr. Coleman’s work…What nudges the film beyond archival value is a cadence and visual style proudly in tune with the music”—Nate Chinen, The New York Times
Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi
Prashant Bhargava | Run time—52 minutes
RADHE RADHE: Rites of Holi is a vivid multimedia collaboration by composer-pianist Vijay Iyer and filmmaker Prashant Bhargava, who were inspired by the centennial of the Stravinsky-Nijinsky Rite of Spring to explore another sort of rite of spring: the Hindu festival of Holi, famous for its revelry of color in celebration of the love between the divine Krishna and Radha. In northern India, Bhargava filmed the ravishing images of an eight-day Holi festival held in the city of Mathura (the mythic birthplace of Krishna), later editing the footage with Stravinskys music as a structural-spiritual guide. Iyer who released his ECM debut, Mutations, earlier this year then composed his score as the actual musical complement to Bhargavas beautiful visual ballet, drawing at times on the rhythms and chants of the Holi festival; the result is one of Iyer’s warmest, most colorful creations to date, as rich melodically as it is texturally.
Saturday, January 7th
The Cry of Jazz (1959)
Directed by Edward Bland | Starring George Waller, Dorothea Horton. Run time—34 minutes
Filmed in Chicago and finished in 1959, THE CRY OF JAZZ is filmmaker, composer and arranger Edward O. Bland’s polemical essay on the politics of music and race: a forecast of what he called “the death of jazz.”
Sun-Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980)
Directed by Robert Mugge | Run time—60 minutes
Robert Mugge filmed jazz great Sun Ra on location in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. between 1978 and 1980. The resulting 60-minute film includes multiple public and private performances, poetry read- ings, a band rehearsal, interviews, and extensive improvisations. Transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored for the best possible viewing experience.
Ra was among the first person of any musical genre to use electronic keyboards. Featuring a good range of Sun Ra’s many musical moods, the venerable titan of the jazz avantgarde performs tunes including “Astro Black,” “Calling Planet Earth,” “Organ Solo,” “We Travel the Spaceways,” “Ankh,” and other seriocomic chants and jingles
Charlie Haden: Rambling Boy (2009)
Directed by Reto Caduff | Run time—80 minutes
Musician. Bandleader. Composer. Producer. Teacher. Activist. 69 years old bass player Charlie Haden has been trying to cross boundaries for the past sixty years. He does not confine himself to one or two genres, but plays everything from jazz to pop to classic up to contemporary e-composers. He is revered as one of the world’s best jazz bass players. His lyrical playing and integrative strength is a big part of the Ornette Coleman quartet – the quartet that managed to turn over a new leaf for jazz almost single-handedly. From the start, the bass was, for Haden, not just accompanying the other instruments, but had its own voice.
The Jazz Gallery presents the inaugural Jazz on Film Festival, January 6th and 7th, 2017. $25 for a single day pass ($20 for members), $40 for a weekend pass ($35 for members). Purchase tickets here.