New and classic film footage with a jazz beat
The story of jazz in moving pictures is frustratingly inconsistent — no footage of Bix Beiderbecke has ever been found, for example...
Seattle Times jazz critic
The story of jazz in moving pictures is frustratingly inconsistent — no footage of Bix Beiderbecke has ever been found, for example — but a substantial body of work does exist, even from the music's earliest days.
The films come in a variety of packages, from "soundies," those weird precursors to MTV that played on a sort of jukebox in the 1940s, to fiction films with jazz plotlines, cartoon soundtracks, documentaries, performance videos and films in which famous jazz musicians make cameo appearances.
Northwest Film Forum has assembled some real gems for this year's Earshot Jazz Festival, including the West Coast premiere of a documentary about avant-garde saxophonist Albert Ayler and a compendium of shorts about jazz women compiled by local film collector Joe Vinikow.
Screenings are from Oct. 26 to 30 at Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle (206-329-2629, www.nwfilmforum.org/jazz). Tickets are $5. Here's the complete lineup:
Oct. 26, 7 p.m.: "Jazz Jukebox Films From the 1940s," with Nat Cole, Fats Waller, Louis Jordan and others.
Oct. 26-30, 9 p.m.: "My Name is Albert Ayler," featuring rare archival material and interviews. Director Kaspar Collin attends Oct. 26.
Oct. 27-29, 7 p.m.: "This is Gary McFarland," a work-in-progress by director Kristian St. Clair, explores the life of one of Carla Bley's (and Gerry Mulligan's) favorite arrangers, who unfortunately died at 38, in 1971.
Oct. 29, 1 p.m.: "Animation+Syncopation," a set of mind-bending cartoons, with Betty Boop, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, the Boswell Sisters, Fats Waller and others. These are classics.
Oct. 29-30, 5 p.m.: "Jazz on the West Coast," a new documentary that tells the story of the Hermosa Beach, Calif., club where former Port Townsend resident Bud Shank, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and others cooked up a new style of jazz in the '50s.
Oct. 30, 7 p.m.: "Jazz Women on Screen," with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Ethel Waters and others.
Paul de Barros: 206-464-3247 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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