waldron

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 July Schedule

The July 2010 National Jazz Museum in Harlem schedule puts particular focus on the visual side of the jazz genre, as we feature classic films in our Jazz for Curious Listeners series (inaugurating a new collaboration with The Maysles Institute), interview one of the premier jazz photographers in the nation, Frank Stewart, for our flagship Harlem Speaks public program, and screen a rare film of “The High Priestess of Soul,” Nina Simone.

Since jazz is music for the soul, we feed your ears too, as the NJMH All-Stars will perform at Marcus Garvey Park before the airing of the Nina Simone film as well as at the Studio Museum in Harlem (our new programmatic partners) for the first Jazz at the Studio event, where the shades of blue and the blues will be pursued in sound and aesthetic fury.

We’ll also play the music of pianist Mal Waldron at our monthly Saturday Panel, spend an evening with the genius of Duke Ellington, and have a conversation with legendary jazz record producer Michael Cuscuna for the second of two monthly Harlem Speaks events.

Every single event this month is FREE, so since money is no object, take the time to join our swinging festivities!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers
An Evening With Duke Ellington
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Known as a composer/arranger/bandleader, duke Ellington was also a gifted author, and his autobiography, Music Is My Mistress, affords as much of an insight into his personality as his music does. Join us as we read and discuss Ellington the author.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: The Sound of Jazz
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Perhaps the most iconic jazz film ever made, The Sound of Jazz brought together 32 leading musicians from the swing era, including Count Basie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Jo Jones, and Coleman Hawkins; the Chicago style players of the same era, such as Henry "Red" Allen, Vic Dickenson, and Pee Wee Russell; and younger "modernist" musicians such as Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, and Jimmy Giuffre. These players played separately with their compatriots, but also joined to combine various styles in one group, such as Red Allen's group and the group backing Billie Holiday on "Fine and Mellow," one of the most poignant moments of jazz ever caught on film. The song brought back together Lester Young and Holiday; Young's blues solo is transcendent in its painful beauty and sophisticated simplicity.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Frank Stewart, Photographer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Frank Stewart is a photographer whose image-making work rises to the level of fine art.

He was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1949, and grew up in Memphis and Chicago. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA in photography from Cooper Union in New York. Stewart has had numerous solo and group shows at Cooper Union Gallery, Washington Project for the Arts, Studio Museum in Harlem, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the International Center of Photography, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Stewart was a member of the first team of North American journalists invited by the government of Cuba to photograph the Island in 1977; he was also invited by the Los Angeles Committee to photograph the 1984 Olympics. He has been granted two photographic fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a New York Creative Artist Public Service Award, and a 2002 NFFA fellowship. He was honored as Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1975, at Kenkeleba House in 1987, and at the Light Work Gallery at Syracuse University in 1989. His photographs were published in Sweet Swing Blues on the Road (text by Wynton Marsalis; published by WW Norton) and Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in Barbecue Country. Most recently, his work was featured in Romare Bearden: Photographs by Frank Stewart (published by Pomegranate) and The Sweet Breath of Life: A Poetic Narrative of the African-American Family (Frank Stewart, ed., with text by Ntozake Shange and photographs by Kamoinge Inc.; published by Simon & Schuster).

Stewart currently serves as Senior Staff Photographer for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is a member of Kamoinge, a New York-based collective of African-American photographers. In addition to showing examples of his excellent jazz photography, Stewart will share anecdotes about his world travels with Wynton Marsalis, as well as accounts of times spent with Romare Bearden and Albert Murray as a driver.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: The Last of the Blue Devils
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Kansas City in the 1930s was a wild, wide-open place. Under political boss Tom Pendergast, the booze flowed freely, prostitution and gambling flourished, and the Depression pretty much passed the city by, making it an ideal spawning ground for some great music. Pianist-bandleader Count Basie, saxophone immortals Lester Young and Charlie Parker, and blues belters Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing were all working there, along with a host of lesser-known but nonetheless formidable musicians, and they all played the blues, Kansas City style.


Director Bruce Ricker's 90-minute The Last of the Blue Devils chronicles the 1979 reunion of many of these legendary players, combining interviews, vintage film footage, photos, and some inimitably swinging performances by Basie, Turner, pianist Jay McShann, and many others to create an intimate, good-natured portrait of what one old-timer calls the "cool, relaxed sound" of the city. The camaraderie among these men, all of whom are colorful raconteurs, is palpable. But it's the music, surely, that's the main attraction; performances include some familiar tunes, like Turner's "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and a Basie big band version of "Night Train" (featuring tenor saxophonist Jimmy Forrest, the tune's composer) that's as greasy as the local barbecue. The Last of the Blue Devils is an absolute delight not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Special Event
Film: Nina Simone Great Performances: College Concerts and Interviews
(Andy Stroud, USA, 60 mins.)
Music: The National Jazz Museum All-Stars
7:30-9:30pm
Location: Marcus Garvey Park (Lawn A located on the Madison Avenue side of the park between 122nd and 124th Streets)

A rare film of a radical artist in performance and in interviews, where she shares her views on race relations, and the role artists play in culture and society.
Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), better known by her stage name Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. Although she disliked being categorized, Simone is arguably most associated with her performance of jazz music. Simone originally aspired to become a classical pianist, but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles that include classical music, jazz, the blues, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop music. Her vocal style is characterized by intense passion, a loose vibrato, and a slightly androgynous timbre, in part due to her unusually low vocal range which veered between the alto and tenor ranges (occasionally even reaching baritone lows). Also known as The High Priestess of Soul, she paid great attention to the musical expression of emotions. Within one album or concert she could fluctuate between exuberant happiness and tragic melancholy.

Nina Simone recorded over 40 live and studio albums, the greatest body of her work being released between 1958 (when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue and 1974. Songs she is best known for include "My Baby Just Cares for Me", "I Put a Spell on You", "Four Women", "I Loves You Porgy", "Feeling Good", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Sinnerman", "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Mississippi Goddam", "Ain't Got No, I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Many of her songs are featured on motion picture soundtracks, as well as in video games, commercials and TV series.

This event is brought to you by the Maysles Cinema, Target ® and The National Jazz Museum of Harlem
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jazz at The Studio
BLUE: A Shade of Difference
2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: The Studio Museum in Harlem
(144 West 125th Street)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Season Opener/Target Arts & Wonder Weekend Celebration

In this the kick-off performance of a new series, The NJMH All-Stars contemplate the color, the mood and art works that deal with the concept of blue and the blues. Blues, of course, are fundamental to jazz. But blues is way more than a simple, folk musical form. Many think the blues symbolize sadness and melancholy only; but blues music encompasses a full range of human emotion as a counter to what writer Albert Murray called “the blues as such.” Experiencing the variety of feelings evoked by Miles Davis’s recording, Kind of Blue, the best-selling jazz recording of all time, demonstrates this effect . . . as will today’s concert at the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: Sound—John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk PLUS!
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: The Maysles Institute
(343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave (Between 127th and 128th Streets))
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

*Note tonight's special location.

If you have never seen Dick Fontaine’s groundbreaking film paring John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, run, don’t walk, to this screening. In addtionl, we’ll be showing examples of experimental film and experimental jazz including shorts by Shirley Clark and Rudy Burckhardt and a reception with Manny Kircheimer's Stations of the Elevated playing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film—Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: The Maysles Institute
(343 Malcolm X Blvd / Lenox Ave [between 127th and 128th Streets])
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

*Note tonight's special location.

Filmmaker Bruce Ricker couldn't believe his luck: Michael and Christian Blackwood's extensive 1968 footage of the groundbreaking modern jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, including the only footage of the very private Monk off stage, turned out to be in excellent condition. The reels were, in Ricker's words, "just sitting there like the Dead Sea Scrolls of jazz." Ricker, as co-producer, joins director and fellow producer Charlotte Zwerin, executive producer Clint Eastwood and others to bring these scrolls to astonishing life. Their Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser combines the Blackwood's rare footage of Monk in studio on tour and behind the scenes with new interviews, archival photos and more to create a landmark aural and visual treat released 20 years after the original footage was shot.

Here are the tunes you’ll hear tonight, in order of appearance: Evidence; Rhythm-a-ning; On the Bean; Round Midnight; Well, You Needn't; Bright Mississippi; Blue Monk; Trinkle, Tinkle; Rhythm-a-ning; Ugly Beauty; Ask Me Now; Just a Gigolo; Crepuscule with Nellie; I Should Care; We See; Osaka T.; Evidence; Epistrophy, Don't Blame Me; Ruby, My Dear; I Mean You; Lulu's Back in Town; Off Minor; Pannonica; Boo Boo's Birthday; Misterioso; Monk's Mood; Sweetheart of All My Dreams; and Round Midnight.

Need we say more? See you at the Maysles Institute!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Michael Cuscuna, Record Producer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Michael Cuscuna is a discographer, writer and record producer par excellence.
He played drums, saxophone and flute during his teenage years, but wasn’t professional material. So, instead, he turned his attention to radio and recordings. He had a jazz show on WXPN and worked for ESP-Disk in the late 1960s, while also writing for Jazz & Pop Magazine, Rolling Stone and Down Beat. After stints at WMMR in Philadelphia and WABC-FM (now WPLJ) in New York as a progressive rock DJ, he took a position as a producer with Atlantic Records in the 1970s, recording Buddy Guy, Dave Brubeck and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. He also produced albums by Bonnie Raitt (Give It Up), Martin Mull, Luther Allison and Chris Smither. He also produced for ABC (doing reissues of Impulse! albums), Arista, Muse, Freedom, Elektra and Novus. From 1975 to 1981 he went through the Blue Note archives and recovered many unissued sessions which are now prized.

Along with Charlie Lourie, he founded Mosaic Records in 1983 specializing in jazz reissue box sets, with almost 200 releases as of 2009. Artists surveyed include highly visible masters like Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Nat “King” Cole, and lesser known artists such as Tina Brooks and Ike Quebec. Cuscuna has won three Grammy Awards for his releases. Since 1984, Cuscuna has been a special consultant, producer, and reissue director of Blue Note Records.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Panels The World of Mal Waldron 12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

A pianist with a brooding, rhythmic, introverted style, Mal Waldron's playing was flexible enough to fit into both hard bop and freer settings. Influenced by Thelonious Monk's use of space, Waldron had his own distinctive chord voicings nearly from the start. Early on, Waldron played jazz on alto and classical music on piano, but he switched permanently to jazz piano while at Queens College. He freelanced around New York in the early '50s with Ike Quebec (for whom he made his recording debut), Big Nick Nicholas, and a variety of R&B-ish groups. Waldron frequently worked with Charles Mingus from 1954-1956 and was Billie Holiday's regular accompanist during her last two years (1957-1959). Often hired by Prestige to supervise recording sessions, Waldron contributed many originals (including "Soul Eyes," which became a standard) and basic arrangements that prevented spontaneous dates from becoming overly loose jam sessions.

He mostly led his own groups after Holiday's death, although he was part of the Eric Dolphy-Booker Little Quintet that was recorded extensively at the Five Spot in 1961, and also worked with Abbey Lincoln for a short stint. He wrote three film scores before moving permanently to Europe in 1965, settling in Munich in 1967. Waldron, who occasionally returned to the U.S. for visits, was a major force in the European jazz world. His album Free at Last was the first released by ECM, and his Black Glory was the fourth Enja album. Waldron, who frequently teamed up with Steve Lacy (often as a duet), kept quite busy up through the '90s, featuring a style that evolved but was certainly traceable to his earliest record dates. Among the many labels that have documented his music have been Prestige, New Jazz, Bethlehem, Impulse, Musica, Affinity, ECM, Futura, Nippon Phonogram, Enja, Freedom, Black Lion, Horo, Teichiku, Hat Art, Palo Alto, Eastwind, Baybridge, Paddle Wheel, Muse, Free Lance, Soul Note, Plainisphere, and Timeless. In September of 2002, Waldron was diagnosed with cancer. Remaining optimistic, he continued to tour until he passed away on December 2 in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 76.