Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

390

Barry Harris and Mal Waldron: Passing It On / A Portrait

By

Sign in to view read count
Barry Harris / Mal Waldron
Barry Harris: Passing It On / A Portrait of Mal Waldron
Rhapsody Films

This DVD release collects two films about two significant jazz pianists—Barry Harris and Mal Waldron. The first film is a short (23 minutes) but wonderfully personable glimpse into the life of pianist/educator Harris, who describes himself at the film's beginning as an "inveterate be-bopper," a man dedicated to that part of the jazz language he calls "the beginning and end of music." What clearly comes across is how committed Harris is to increasing through teaching the size of the music's younger audience. One of the settings is the Jazz Cultural Theater, an independent school Harris founded to promote jazz. One longs for more of Harris' playing, but as the film ends there is little doubt that we have just witnessed a substantial document of one of America's national treasures.

A Portrait of Mal Waldron was filmed a dozen years later and, as a project made in Europe, benefits from a bigger budget. Besides wonderful comments and candid rehearsal clips featuring Max Roach, Steve Lacy, Jeanne Lee and other close collaborators, there are snippets of rare archival footage. In one scene Waldron, who was Billie Holiday's final accompanist, is shown walking down a street in Belgium, and he says to the director, "I believe that if Billie Holiday stayed in Europe, she would be alive today." We then realize that he himself had moved to Europe in 1965, staying there until his death in 2002.

Both A Portrait of Mal Waldron and Passing It On represent the jazz life as a labor of love undertaken by these great musicians—both carrying on with the utmost positive energy, despite the comparative absence of fame, wealth and, at least Stateside, the respect that was their due.


Passing It On: A film by David Chan and Ken Freumdlich. Barry Harris: piano, with Red Rodney, Pepper Adams and Clifford Brown. Copyright: 1985. Rhapsody Films. Run time: 23 minutes.

A Portrait of Mal Waldron: A film by Tom Van overberghe. Mal Waldron: piano, with Max Roach, Steve Lacy, Jeanne Lee, Andrew Cyrille, and Reggie Workman. Screenplay: Bo Mandeville & Tom Van overberghe; Photography: Toon Illegems; Editor: Joris Heugebaert; Mixing: Guido Godon. Produced by Bo Mandeville & Willem Thijssen. Copyright: 1997. Minerva Pictures (Antwerp, Belgium). Run time: 52 minutes.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read La La Land DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD/Film Reviews Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2017
Read Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones - Ole Ole Ole!: A Trip Across Latin America
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"" DVD/Film Reviews Fathom Events Presents "The Grateful Dead Movie"
by Doug Collette
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Bill Frisell: A Portrait" DVD/Film Reviews Bill Frisell: A Portrait
by John Kelman
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary" DVD/Film Reviews Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017" DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "La La Land" DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!