Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jivin'

If you're familiar with the history of jazz, this picture will look familiar to you - until you look closer. "A Great Day in Harlem," the greatest photo-shoot of jazzmen ever, took place on this stoop on 126th Street in 1958. Only one person from that shoot is in this picture, taken half a century (to the day!) later. The great Marian McPartland, one of only two women in the 1958 shoot, is here surrounded by several generations of women jazz musicians. You can get to know many of them and their work in the terrific new documentary "The Girls in the Band," which I saw tonight at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, in the presence of director Judy Chaikin. Several other women jazz musicians were at the Q&A, thanked Chaikin for telling their story, and for correcting the androcentric bias of Ken Burns' "Jazz" series, but even they were unaware of most of this history. Glad the story's finally being told - and time for me to get a stack of new recordings for the collection!

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