Screening: Horn From The Heart

Last year I wrote about the Paul Butterfield documentary Horn From The Heart. I am pleased to share that there will be a screening at The Fairfield Stage One on November 27th in Fairfield CT. It will be followed  with a Q and A with filmmaker Sandy Warren and musician Mark Naftalin.

Mark played keyboards in The Butterfield Blues Band on the first five albums. Mark hosts a blues radio hour on WPKN-FM. He also plays twice a month with various musicians at the 323 Restaurant Bar in Westport, CT.

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40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie

You had me at: “Good vibes from old hippies” — VARIETY
40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie is a labor of love. The film started when television executive Lee Aronsohn (Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men) was searching for a new project. He recalled a band from his college days in Boulder, CO, called Magic Music, whose songs he had always loved. They never released an album. Lee made it his mission to track down the scattered members of the band and find out why they never “made it” – and convince them to reunite for ONE LAST SHOW!
The film is not just about a band, but about the impact that music leaves on one’s soul. It’s about the way our favorite bands offer soundtracks to our lives, and how we can tell how we, and the world, have changed through the years.

 

 

Livingston Taylor – Life Is Good

Award Winning Director Tracey Anarella has teamed up with Livingston Taylor to create a compelling documentary about Livingston, his life, his career and his unique and amazing teachings at the Berklee College of Music!

The film, “Livingston Taylor – Life Is Good” shows Livingston Taylor as the unique one-off that he is. Equal parts Mark Twain, WC Fields, college professor, and musical icon – an icon who is a large part of America’s first music family, one part iconoclastic and beloved professor giving back to the music that nurtured him, and most importantly, a man whose life is testament to the concept that ‘Life IS Good’.

An airplane-flying, motorbike-riding, singing-guitar/piano-man, dead set on enriching the world he inhabits. Liv represents a unique type of modern guide about how one’s life could be a very good life by being inquisitive, smart, and grabbing life by its collar and never letting go. Indeed, there is no one like Liv.

Pleased to share that the documentary “Livingston Taylor – Life Is Good” has been a part of or accepted to the following awards with awards and nominations!

  • Amsterdam International Film Festival: The Van Gogh Award for the Feature Documentary category
  • Amsterdam International Filmmakers Festival: Official Selection and Tracey Anarella and Peter Fish nominated for Best Editing in a Feature Documentary; Tracey Anarella nominated for Best Director in a Feature Documentary
  • Woods Hole Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Jogja International Film Festival: Award of Merit for a Feature Documentary
  • Jakarta Film Festival: Official Selection
  • Central Java Film Festival: Official Selection
  • The Bali Film Festival: Official Selection
  • The Jogya Kartha Film Festival: Official choice
  • Asbury Park Movie and Film Festival: Official Selection
Upcoming Screenings – (More to follow as they are announced)

Music requires peace.

I viewed the trailer for the documentary Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda which looks at the life and work of the pianist and composer.

There is a scene where the words, “Music requires peace.” appear as Mr. Sakamoto bows and prays to honor the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Three simple words which resonate wisdom and purpose.

You can read further about Mr. Sakamoto and this New York Times Critic’s Pick film below.

NYT_CriticsPick

Ken Burns, Country Music Series, PBS 2019

Ken Burns is the leading documentarian of American history and culture. The film catalog he and his team have produced in partnership with PBS is America’s cultural repository.

Ken Burns and company are working on Country Music, a series scheduled for PBS viewing in  2019.

Country Music will chronicle the history of a uniquely American art form, rising from the experiences of remarkable people in distinctive regions of our nation.  From southern Appalachia’s songs of struggle, heartbreak and faith to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from California honky tonks to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, we will follow the evolution of country music over the course of the twentieth century, as it eventually emerged to become America’s music.

It will be directed and produced by Ken Burns; written and produced by Dayton Duncan; and produced by Julie Dunfey—Emmy-award winning creators of PBS’s most-acclaimed and most-watched documentaries for more than a quarter century, including The Civil WarLewis & ClarkThe Journey of the Corps of DiscoveryThe National Parks: America’s Best IdeaThe Dust Bowl, and many more.

Country Music will be a sweeping, multi-episode series, exploring the questions, “What is country music?” “Where did it come from?” while focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created it—from the Carter family, Jimmie Rodgers and Bob Wills, to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more—as well as the times in which they lived.  And like the music itself, Country Musicwill tell unforgettable stories—stories of the hardships and joys shared by everyday people.

We will trace its origins in minstrel music, ballads, hymns, and the blues, and its early years when it was called hillbilly music played across the airwaves on radio station barn dances. We will see how Hollywood B movies instituted the fad of singing cowboys like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, and watch how the rise of juke joints after World War II changed the musical style by bringing electric guitars and pedal steel guitars to the forefront.  We will follow the rise of bluegrass music with Bill Monroe and we will note how one of country music’s offspring—rockabilly—mutated into rock and roll in Memphis.  And we’ll see how Nashville slowly became not just the mecca of country music, but “Music City USA.” All the while, we will note the constant tug of war between the desire to make country music as mainstream as possible and the periodic reflexes to bring it back to its roots.

A tie-in collaboration event designed to celebrate the PBS première of Ken Burn’s Country Music is scheduled for the Jazz at Lincoln Center 2018-2019 Concert Series.

APR 25–27, 8PM • ROSE THEATER

WYNTON MARSALIS AND KEN BURNS: COUNTRY MUSIC

Iconic documentarian Ken Burns and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis explore the shared roots found throughout American music. With never-before-seen clips from Burns’ upcoming Country Music series, audiences will learn the fascinating and often intertwined histories of songs made famous by artists such as Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, and others. Then hear brand new arrangements of those songs written and performed by the JLCO.

These Are The Words – Patti Smith

Friday, May 18th gave us the simultaneous launch of the documentary and original soundtrack for Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.

This film is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. The pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. From his deep concern for the poor and wealth inequality, to his involvement in environmental issues and social justice, Pope Francis engages the audience face-to-face and calls for peace.

Viva Papa!

I love the collaboration accomplished by Director Wim Wenders and the artist Patti Smith. Their collective effort benefits viewer and listeners in capturinhg the true spiritual resonance Pope Francis conveys in our world.  How rewarding it must be to have your words and film raising further consciousness about the Holy Father. The illumination of our spirits is the direct result. I can’t wait to see this film in a movie theater for I am convinced as a devout Roman Catholic the experience embodies my faith and teachings.

Patti Smith’s song “These Are the Words” are heard over the closing credits. I’ve been listening to the song repeatedly while writing this blog post. It gives one pause and solace.

Filmmaker Wim Wenders says that Patti Smith “is a truly amazing spiritual person, not just one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever. She admires St. Francis very much, and at one point, she told me she stayed in the same Franciscan monastery where we also ate with the monks every night when we shot the St. Francis episodes,” Wenders said. “And she told these very kind and friendly brothers that she was convinced that the next Pope was going to be called Francis. They all laughed wholeheartedly and told her this was, unfortunately, never going to happen. And then it happened!”

Wenders added, “When I first heard Patti’s song and read the lyrics that she had sent along, I admit, I was in tears. This was such an incredible gift to the film. She had found the perfect way to sum it up in her words. It is uplifting without ever being remotely embarrassing, which is close to impossible. But she did it.

 

Still On The Run – The Jeff Beck Story

Jeff Beck is a true gunslinger and more.

His musicianship defined rock guitar for me.  He was the first major rock guitarist I saw live as The Jeff Beck Group in 1969 at The Fillmore East.

Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood, Mickey Waller, and Rod Stewart

I’ve seen him perform in concert twice since ’69.  The night he played with his band at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert in 2009 at Madison Square was over the Top 😉

We saw him the following year at the Garden again. He was on tour with Eric Clapton where they each did a set, collaborating together. The highlight of Jeff Beck’s performance was to bring a full orchestra to play “Nessun Dorma” (An aria from the last act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Turandot). His versatility has no bounds.

“Jeff takes the guitar to the furthest reaches of the guitar universe” -Jan Hammer”

He’s still on the run 49 years later.  Catch him this summer with Ann Wilson (Heart) and Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company)

Still On The Run: The Jeff Beck Story documents the history of a musical maverick and true innovator, delving below the surface to shed light on the circumstances, inspiration and technicality behind the man and his music. The film features extensive interviews with Jeff both at home and in his workshop, as well as interviews with Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, David Gilmour, Ronnie Wood, Slash, Jan Hammer, Joe Perry, Beth Hart & many more.