I’ve been very busy and that is why I haven’t been blogging much. That also means I haven’t been able to explore the outer reaches of historical film much lately. But I think this Da
The other night, I watched Shirley Clarke’s weird 1985 documentary about Ornette Coleman. Ornette: Made in America combines the classic documentary form of showing a great musician in performanc
Tonight’s film is the 1935 Duke Ellington vehicle Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. Directed by Fred Waller, who was a director of short films, it highlights Ellington’s new com
The great jazz pianist is gone, at the age of 81. Tyner’s famous for his legendary work with John Coltrane at the peak of the saxophone master’s career between 1961 and 1965. Somewhat oddl
This is the grave of Stéphane Grappelli. Born in 1908 in Paris, his mother died young. But his father, who was an Italian writer, knew Isadora Duncan and when he was drafted into World War I by the I
This is the grave of Lester Young. Born in 1909 in Woodville, Mississippi, Young grew up in New Orleans as part of a family of musicians. But although professional musicians, they were also poor, as t
This is the grave of Lionel Hampton. Born in 1908 in Louisville, he and his mother moved frequently in his youth–to Birmingham, then to Kenosha, and then to Chicago. He took an interest in music
Cecil Taylor, one of the greatest artists and musicians to ever walk the planet, has died. The Times has a really great, comprehensive overview of his life.