This Week in Los Angeles: Free Jazz Films

Pulitzer Prize-winning musician Ornette Coleman

Free jazz fans in Los Angeles, I have a week already planned out for you!

First, allow me to drop in a shameless plug here for my radio show. The pretentiously-named “Ceci n’est pas une spectacle de radio,” which airs weekly every Wednesday night from 8-10 PM Pacific time on, is dedicating the entire two-hour show this week to free and avant-garde jazz. Tune in to hear all the top hits from the likes of Art Ensemble of Chicago, Joe Harriott, and Albert Ayler. On an unrelated note, we’re also giving out a pair of tickets to see Siouxsie at the Henry Fonda Theater on Feb. 15th and 16th . After all, we normally play both post-punk and free jazz. Peep the show blog!

Secondly, the wonderful folks at Filmforum are screening two intriguing films this week that should be of any interest to jazz fans. In conjunction with The Cinefamily, this Thursday evening at the Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood there is a screening of Shirley Clarke’s Ornette: Made In America as part of the Jazz On Film: Capturing Creation series. The 1985 film documents the decades-spanning (and still ongoing) career of the father of free jazz himself, Ornette Coleman.

This Sunday at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd., Filmforum presents Ron Mann’s Imagine The Sound, his highly acclaimed 1981 documentary on free jazz featuring performances by legends such as Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, and Paul Bley.

I have seen neither film, but being lucky enough to have seen Ornette Coleman in concert, I guarantee that Ornette: Made In America will be worth it just for the performance footage. Diehard and casual jazz fans alike should make their way to Hollywood on Thursday and Sunday evening to see these unique documentaries. After all, this isn’t going to be a side of jazz covered in your Ken Burns DVD set.
-Carman Tse

The Joe Harriott Quintet – “Face In The Crowd”: mp3