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Jackie McLean

John H. Armwood Jazz History Lecture Nashville's Cheekwood Arts Center 1989

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Article: NYFF Review: Don Cheadle Strives to Make a Film That Miles Davis Would Make in 'Miles Ahead'

"A hindrance, as I see it, to the film becoming conclusively impressionistic, and therefore meeting Cheadle's (and thus the audience's) demands, is that the main narrative itself isn't all-that engaging, to be frank. But what held my attention was Cheadle as Davis. It's a captivating enough transformation that I was on board for much of the ride, which Cheadle, wisely, I thought, keeps to a brief 100 minutes. There's a kind of demystification of Davis that happens in the present-day narrative, as compared to the genius that is Davis the musician, that I think even those who aren't familiar with the man and his work, are aware of. Miles Davis. Genius musician. Untouchable. Even superhuman and god-like. He's a legend. So there's almost a reconciling (the man versus the legend) that some may have to do in order to settle into the film - the present-day story giving us "a man," frail, broken, with a cocaine and alcohol habit (the film appropriately doesn't sugarcoat any of this by the way), a shadow of his former self, angry at the world, and maybe even at himself; and the flashbacks in essence, give us "the legend" in his prime," despite some fracturing, who created the many masterpieces we love and are in awe of today.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Jazz Heavyweight Terence Blanchard Won't Turn a Blind Eye | Mother Jones

With the new band and the thematic connection to Eric Garner's death, you'd think the album would be full of raw nerves and anger.  But instead, Blanchard has created a suite of instrumentals, songs, and spoken word meditations that invite reflection on finding the strength and peace to heal and move forward. He challenges listeners to be "breathless from exerting your free will, breathless from doing good, breathless from blowing your own sweet solo."

Jazz Heavyweight Terence Blanchard Won't Turn a Blind Eye | Mother Jones