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Fundraising Campaign Launched To Support New Documentary On The NY Art Quartet


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Alan Roth, filmmaker and director of the new documentary about the New York Art Quartet, has just launched a final fundraising campaign on Kickstarter to complete this feature-length documentary. The film is entitled: The Breath Courses Through Us.

Roth explained: “I believe this is one of the more important documentaries on jazz musicians, especially the under-represented history of the early 60’s jazz avant-garde. And this film is a more personal look at five great artists, the late John Tchicai (saxophone), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Milford Graves (drums), Reggie Workman (bass), and the poet Amiri Baraka. It deserves to be seen in the best quality and this Kickstarter campaign will insure its successful completion. And that is why I am appealing to the music community for their collective support.”

Roth expects to release this documentary to film festivals in the early Spring 2013.

The Kickstarter campaign, which begins on January 20, 2013 and ends on February 19, 2013, is online here.

Alan Roth's was the director of Inside Out In The Open (2001), described as an “expressionist journey into the music known as free jazz.” This film continues to be screened around the world and remains a relevant testament to that genre of music. The Breath Courses Through Us is his companion piece.

The Breath Courses Through Us centers around the 35-year reunion of the New York Art Quartet. It covers their dinner together, the first they all convened together in that time span, including their discussions, while eating, about what they are about to do, and their future. The reunion concert, the following day (they opened for Sonic Youth at a New York City jazz festival, was an amazing 90-minute set, freely improvised. Cameras follow them later to Paris and Lisbon. There are interviews with each about their musical influences, reflections on the 60s, and their explanations about the music. Other interviews include Steve Lacy, Pierre Dorge (Denmark) and WKCR jazz historian Ben Young.

“This group, comprising four vastly talented players, eschewed the grab for the throat that other New York avant-gardists were aiming for, and produced a small but brilliant body of work, relying heavily on collective improvisation of a rare intuitive level. The band was the harbinger of collective musical approaches and philosophies which leading avant groups of the seventies such as The Art Ensemble of Chicago would develop." —Keith Shadwick, The Illustrated Story of Jazz

Roth’s style of editing is an open, lyrical style that slowly reveals layers of information about the music, the musicians and jazz history from 1964-65.

After working for many years in the U.S. Postal Service in Cleveland, Ohio, Roth decided to spend the rest of his life in the artistic community.

Roth's other major work has been his role in a major, innovative project on urban black women and HIV, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health. Roth was responsible for all video production, which included a 2006 43-minute story, and a 2010 soap opera video in 12 episodes.

Roth lives in Brooklyn, New York, and also in Mexico City, Mexico. He continues his film work focusing on other cultural investigations.

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