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August 11, 1997

Library of Congress Presents Fourth Annual Free Jazz Film Series

To kick off the Jazz Film Series on Sept. 9 and 10, the Library will present the U.S. premiere of a new documentary film by Don McGlynn and Leonard Malone, "DEXTER GORDON: More Than You Know," about the acclaimed tenor saxophonist. Called "one of the most important, enduring and captivating voices of the 20th century," Dexter Gordon is the principal narrator of this film about his own life and the world of jazz that he inhabited. Other jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Billy Eckstine, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie are also seen and heard. Rarely seen footage of Mr. Gordon's 1976 "Homecoming" recording session and the screen test for his 1986 Oscar-nominated appearance in the film "Round Midnight" are highlights of the film, which was made for Danish television. Rusty Hassan, who teaches jazz history at American and Georgetown universities and hosts a jazz program on WDCU-FM, will introduce the film on Sept. 9.

The Jazz Film Series will continue every Tuesday and Friday evening through Oct. 3. Each of the free programs, which will include three 30-minute television performances, will be introduced by a noted musician, critic or broadcaster. Some of the world's great jazz artists -- from vibraphonists to guitarists to horn players -- will be featured in these video programs presented by the Library's Music and Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Divisions.

The basis for these presentations is the "Club Date" and "Jazz Set West" programs that were produced and directed by Paul Marshall and Crown Point Media for KPBS-TV, San Diego, in the late 70s, 1980s and 1990s. Featuring some of the most noted jazz ensembles and recording artists of our time, the goal of the videos is to re-create for the television audience the traditional jazz set -- a short concert performed in an intimate nightclub setting -- using stereo sound, intimate camera shots and a live audience. A full set of the 41 programs was recently remastered by Paul Marshall with the generous support of Andy and Tina Rathbone and given to the Library of Congress for its permanent collections. The gift, called the Paul Marshall/KPBS Collection, also includes seven hourlong documentaries.

All of the video performances will be shown in the Pickford Theater of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., beginning at 7 p.m. Seating in the small theater is first come, first served, with no reservations required. Doors to the theater will open at 6:30 p.m.

The programs in the 1997 Jazz Film Series were selected by Larry Appelbaum, the curator for the series. He is senior studio engineer in the Library's Recorded Sound Section and is the longtime radio host of WPFW's Sunday evening program "Sound of Surprise."

The full program for the series follows:

Sept. 9 and 10 - "DEXTER GORDON: More Than You Know"

The U. S. premiere of the new Don McGlynn and Leonard Malone documentary biography of Dexter Gordon, whose tenor saxophone sound, with its cavernous tone and characteristic behind-the-beat phrasing, influenced several generations of players -- from John Coltrane to Branford Marsalis to Joshua Redman.

Sept. 12 - "Club Date": Milt Jackson, Terry Gibbs and Cal Tjader

Chuck Redd, drummer, vibraphonist and teacher, will introduce this program about three of the leading post-swing vibraphone stylists. The vibraphone was considered a novelty instrument in jazz until Lionel Hampton demonstrated the possibilities of the instrument in the 1930s.

Sept. 16 - "Club Date": Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis, Laurindo Almeida, and Kenny Burrell

Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis and Kenny Burrell all spent time in Oscar Peterson's trio during the 1950s. Herb Ellis has also worked extensively in television bands, and Kenny Burrell has made hundreds of recordings with Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Gil Evans. The late guitarist Laurindo Almeida was already a major player in his native Brazil before establishing his North American reputation with Stan Kenton in the 1950s. Tom Cole, host of "G-Strings" on WPFW-FM, will introduce tonight's program.

Sept. 19 - "Club Date": Hank Jones and Kenny Barron; "Jazz Set West": Gene Harris

W. A. (Bill) Brower, staff assistant to Rep. John Conyers Jr., who has been active as a jazz advocate, writer, annotator, researcher and oral historian since 1975, introduces tonight's program featuring the talents and techniques of three of the top jazz pianists of the last four decades.

Sept. 23 - "Club Date": Buddy Collette, Shorty Rogers and Frank Morgan

Buddy Collette and Shorty Rogers are both accomplished composers/arrangers who have worked in Hollywood film and television studios in addition to making many recordings as jazz leaders and sidemen. Saxophonist Frank Morgan's career, begun in the 1950s, reemerged on the jazz music scene in the mid-1980s with a series of successful recordings and concerts. Patricia Willard, jazz historian and the Library's Gershwin Consultant in Jazz and Popular Music, will introduce the program.

Sept. 26 - "Club Date": Mose Allison, Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff, Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham

Mose Allison is a Mississippi-born pianist and singer whose original songs display both irony and wit. Saxophonist Hank Crawford got his start with B.B. King and Ray Charles. Teamed with organist Jimmy McGriff since 1986, they perform a classic mix of jazz, jump and blues. Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham perform with their Sweet Baby Blues band. Nap Turner, bassist, singer and actor whose radio program is heard on WPFW-FM, introduces the program.

Sept. 30 - "Club Date": Cedar Walton, Freddie Hubbard, Tribute to the Jazz Messengers

Jazz journalist Willard Jenkins introduces the program about this group of jazz musicians, who worked with the late drummer Art Blakey and his group the Jazz Messengers.

Oct. 3 - "Jazz Set West": James Newton; "Club Date": Ray Anderson, Larry Vuckovich

Composer-flutist James Newton studied with Buddy Collette in the 1970s and has since worked to expand the vocabulary and technique for the flute in modern jazz. The New York Times has called trombonist Ray Anderson "an excellent performer who carries the more rough-and-tumble sounds of Dixieland brass into experimental territory." And San Francisco pianist Larry Vuckovich blends the Balkan folk music of his native Yugoslavia with blues, bop and jazz. This last program of the Jazz Film Series is introduced by Suzan Jenkins, the executive director of America's Jazz Heritage Program at the Smithsonian Institution.

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PR 97-128
ISSN 0731-3527

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