ornette coleman

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Film Right Now: Male Muscle Epics and Transmutation by Jazz

This week our film picks are all ones in which context weighs heavily on the experience. While two of these movies are rendered incredible beyond their usual bounds by some seriously insane soundtracks, whether it’s a live one or a rescued one, the remaining two would be nothing without considering seriously their place within the current state of things. None of the films would function properly on their own without their other pairing. Boom. If that all sounds vague, it is — but I’m taking this opportunity to practice my powers of divination so that when I’m reading my friends’ tarot cards later, they’ll look deep into my eyes and be all, ‘Holy shit.’ Here’s to hoping that’s your reaction, dear reader, when you obediently check out each and every one of these movies and decode for yourselves their star-crossed connectivity.

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Two Chances to Soak Up Some Sun Ra

A little over a year after Sun Ra’s centenary celebration, the far-out work of the jazz musician, poet, and Afro-futurist who taught us that “space is the place” is still alive and well. Case in point, these two upcoming chances to take a trip to Saturn.

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A Film Tribute to Ornette Coleman, Jazzman of the Bowery and LES

(Still from Ornette: Made in America)

(Still from Ornette: Made in America)

Ornette Coleman was buried in Woodlawn Cemetary a little over a week ago, following a memorial service attended by Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor and other fellow luminaries of avant-garde jazz. But even if his final resting place is in the Bronx, the free-jazz pioneer was very much a creature of downtown. At one point he even owned a Lower East Side school building, and you can watch him amble through it in a documentary that will be shown at Spectacle next week as part of “Something Else: A Celebration of Ornette Coleman on Film.”

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