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National Jazz Museum in Harlem Announces Upcoming Events, 7/20-31

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The National Jazz Museum in Harlem at 104 East 126th Street, #2C, New York, NY 10035 announces its upcoming events. For more information or tickets, please call 212 348-8300 or www.jmih.org.

July 20, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: The Last of the Blue Devils
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.

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 addition, 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.

July 27, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz on Film: 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.

July 29, 2010
Harlem Speaks
Michael Cuscuna, Record Producer
6:30 - 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH 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.

July 31, 2010
Saturday Panels
The World of MAl Waldron
12:00 - 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH 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, Bay bridge, 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.


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