Filmed in Chicago & finished in 1959, The Cry of Jazz is filmmaker, composer and arranger Edward O. Bland's polemic essay on the politics of music and race - a forecast of what he called "the death of Jazz." A landmark moment in black film, foreseeing the civil unrest of subsequent decades, it also features the only known footage of visionary pianist Sun Ra from his beloved Chicago period. Featured are ample images of tenor saxophonist John Gilmore and the rest of Ra's Arkestra in Windy City nightclubs, all shot in glorious black & white. Rarely seen in cinemas, this is the first commercial release of The Cry of Jazz -- transferred from a pristine print and featuring an otherwise unreleased Arkestral soundtrack.
Tying in the career of avant-garde jazz legend Sun Ra with political and racial unrest in American society, documentarian Edward O. Bland filmed this feature in 1959. Bland illustrates his sociological commentary by drawing parallels from within the music industry, utilizing the work of Sun Ra to allow his message to powerfully resonate. The footage of Sun Ra is rare and barely seen before, making this an enjoyable film for jazz purists and political scholars alike.