Jazz in the Spring at the Nation's Library - April 5-26, 2010
Curated by Larry Appelbaum, Music Division
Monday evenings at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. No tickets required. All programs are free, but seating is limited to 60 seats. Reservations may be made by phone, beginning one week before any given show. Call (202) 707-5677 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm). Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted to unclaimed seats. Programs subject to change without notice.
The prophetic free jazz saxophonist Albert Ayler, who today is seen as one of the most important innovators in jazz, was obsessed with his radical music and by the thought that people one day would understand it. As he said in his own words, “If people don’t like it now, they will.” In 1962 he recorded his first album in Sweden. Eight years later he was found dead in New York’s East River, aged 34. Kasper Collin’s documentary follows the trail of Ayler from his native town of Cleveland by way of Sweden to New York, meeting family, friends and close colleagues. Albert Ayler and his brother Donald guide with voice and music in what JazzTimes called “One of the most starkly beautiful and moving documentaries ever made about a jazz musician.” Learn more about "My Name is Albert Ayler" »
This feature length documentary explores the life and work of composer, bandleader, inventor and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott (1908-94), presented from the unique perspective of Stan Warnow, his filmmaker son. The film interweaves Warner Brothers cartoon excerpts (Scott has been called “the man who made cartoons swing”), rare home movies, and interviews with noted Scott fans John Williams, Don Byron, Mark Mothersbaugh, DJ Spooky and Herb Deutsch, co-inventor of the Moog Synthesizer. Learn more about "Deconstructing Dad" »
Tonight's film will be introduced by its director, Stanley Warnow.
A French-American feature, dedicated to Bud Powell and Lester Young, which pays tribute to the black musicians who lived and performed in Paris in the late 1950s. Set at the Blue Note club in Saint-Germain-des-Pres and the Louisiane Hotel, the film stars Dexter Gordon in his Oscar nominated role as saxophonist Dale Turner. On screen appearances and performances by Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, John McLaughlin and Wayne Shorter. Learn more about Dexter Gordon »
Tonight’s screening will be introduced by jazz historian Maxine Gordon, wife of Dexter Gordon.
This stylized recent documentary depicts Dutch drummer and visual artist Han Bennink’s creative journey from art student and free-lance percussionist backing touring Americans like Johnny Griffin and Eric Dolphy, to the uncompromising improvisor he is today. His visual work, which he creates alone, silently and surrounded by nature, is shown as a counterpoint to his cosmopolitan and often noisy musical life. Bennink is seen captured in performance with Griffin, the ICP Orchestra, jamming with Ethiopian musicians and leading workshops with students and children. Learn more about Han Bennink »
Motown in the Fall at the Nation’s Library
In celebration of the legendary company’s fiftieth birthday, Curated by Norman Middleton, Music Division
Monday evenings at 7:00 pm – Mary Pickford Theater, 3rd Floor, James Madison Building. No tickets required. Seating is limited. Reservations may be made one week before any given screening by calling (202) 707-5677 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Reserved seats must be claimed at least 10 minutes before show time, after which standbys will be admitted. Programs subject to change without notice.
Remaining original member Otis Williams discusses the history of the group featuring sixteen classic Temptations numbers recorded in different venues and television shows, including “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “My Girl,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “I Wish It Would Rain,” “Ball of Confusion,” and “I Can't Get Next to You.”
Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard (and her replacement Cindy Birdsong), the original “Dreamgirls” who won over the harshest critics with their looks, their charm and their huge series of hits, are seen in classic appearances in the Ed Sullivan Show and Hullaballo, and in rare footage not seen since it was first aired more than 40 years ago.
Remaining original member Abdul “Duke” Fakir surveys the dynamic group’s forty-year history from its earliest days as “The Four Ames” to its post-Motown career. Duke discusses the Four Top’s relationship to each other and to their beloved production team Holland-Dozier-Holland.
This semi-factual film about jazz singer Billie Holiday—Motown’s initial project after leaving Detroit — is loosely based on her 1956 autobiography, which took its title from one of her most popular songs. Produced by Motown Productions for Paramount Pictures, the film stars Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan, and Scatman Crothers.
Hosted by Richard Pryor, this first television anniversary celebration
includes Michael Jackson’s “moon-walking” version of “Billie
Jean” and a Jackson Five reunion; Marvin Gaye’s final television
appearance; Stevie Wonder; the original Four Tops and the Temptations in
a “battle of the bands;” Linda Ronstadt; Smokey Robinson; the
Miracles (including Claudette), and the controversial performance by the
An encore screening of the critically acclaimed film about the Funk Brothers,
Motown’s famed house band, eight years to the day after its world
premiere at the Library of Congress on December 14, 2001. Their unforgettable
story is told through archival footage, interviews, and twelve new live
performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary