The Cry of Jazz (1958)

Genres - Culture & Society, Music  |   Sub-Genres - Essay Film, Media Studies, Politics & Government, Race & Ethnicity  |   Run Time - 35 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Nathan Southern

Shot by Edward O. Bland in downtown Chicago and originally released in 1959, the half-hour documentary short The Cry of Jazz functions as Bland's foreboding prophecy, predicting the death of jazz as a form of African American expression, and deeply analyzing the racial politic of the music. In its time, The Cry of Jazz also became one of the key works to visibly foretell the rise of the civil rights movement in the United States, years before it dawned. Included are astonishingly rare archival performances by such mythical jazz lords as pianist Sun Ra, (in his Windy City period), and saxophonist John Gilmore. The Cry of Jazz fell into a void of obscurity for decades but was recently remastered and reissued for this home release.



African-American, cultural-identity, dramatization, interracial, jazz, music-scene, race/ethnicity, visionary