Thursday, March 31, 2016

Miles at The Movies, April 1, 2016 - “Miles Ahead"

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

“What's a labor of love? Take a look at what Don Cheadle does in Miles Ahead. Not only does he act the hell out of the role of the late jazz trumpeter Miles Davis — the raspy voice, the death stare, the hair, the attitude, the cocaine-fueled paranoia. Cheadle is also the director (his first time at bat),  co-writer and co-producer of the movie. That means he gets the lion's share of the credit — and also the blame. As an actor, Cheadle is flawless, letting us feel we're really hanging with a musical genius possessed of a volatile temper and a talent to match. Like Born To Be Blue, Miles Ahead is allergic to all things biopic, especially the cheap psychology and the effort to tie up a complex life with a neat bow.”
- Rolling Stone Magazine

Don Cheadle's cool, vibe-y biopic Miles Ahead paints an accurate portrait of Miles Davis, the late jazz musician's family told USA TODAY on the red carpet of the Los Angeles premiere. No, Cheadle didn't pay them to say that-- relatives of Miles were actually involved with Cheadle's script-to-screen process.

“Selected as the closing-night feature in last fall’s New York Film Festival, “Miles Ahead” is an obvious labor of love, born out of Cheadle’s lifelong obsession with Davis’ groundbreaking music and troubled personal life. Although the movie can’t avoid all the pitfalls of the showbiz biopic, it’s a subtle and complicated example of the form that gracefully weaves together numerous episodes and historical periods, and never seeks to whitewash the more painful aspects of Davis’ story. In the present tense of “Miles Ahead,” it’s about 1980 and the trumpeter has become a Howard Hughes-style recluse, living alone in his New York brownstone buffered by cocaine and alcohol, and refusing to surrender the tapes for his long-contemplated comeback album.

A Scottish music journalist played by Ewan McGregor (and we’ll get to the controversy surrounding that role) gets into Davis’ house and at least partway into his confidence, and unleashes numerous adventures along with a stream of almost Fellini-esque reminiscence and association. So Cheadle’s screenplay (written with Steven Baigelman) locates Davis at a personal and professional low point, but weaves in bits and pieces from throughout his remarkable career: the bebop years after World War II, the extraordinary small groups of the early ‘60s, the symphonic orchestrated works created with Gil Evans (Davis himself always preferred “Sketches of Spain” to the immortal 1959 sextet LP “Kind of Blue”) and the then-controversial jazz-rock “fusion” albums of the ‘70s, which alienated much of his middle-class white audience and anticipated musical innovations that still lay ahead.

If you’ve ever seen Cheadle act in anything, I hardly need to tell you that he grabs your attention and holds it throughout the film. You could say that Miles Davis is a role he was born to play, but then again Cheadle could play anything. (If given a role as an Irish leprechaun or a Nazi officer, he’d find a way to make you believe it.) He doesn’t look much like Miles Davis, but he captures the musician’s door-creak voice and hesitant body language without making it feel like mimicry. To give a performance this layered and complex and unstinting while also directing the film around it, which is risky and imaginative and full of life, testifies to impressive powers of concentration.
- Salon

If you’re gonna do a film about Miles, it’s gotta represent what Miles stood for.”
- Herbie Hancock

“Troubled Genius”
Allen Morrison
April 2016

“If you’re gonna tell a story, come with some attitude, man.”

That's Miles Davis, as played by Don Cheadle, talking to a TV producer who is rehearsing the intro to an interview he's about to tape with the legendary trumpeter. The scene occurs near the beginning of Miles Ahead, Cheadle's biographical film about Davis' life and music. The lesson in "cool" can be taken as a mission statement for both Davis the musician and Cheadle the actor* who is making his debut as a director with the film. Critics and the movie-going public will certainly debate the liberties it takes with the factual record in pursuit of larger truths about Davis (1926—91). But one thing is indisputable: Miles Ahead is anything but corny.

When the film premiered in October at the 2015 New York Film Festival, the festival’s selection committee raved that "every second of Cheadle s cinematic mosaic is passionately engaged with its subject: this is, truly, one of the finest films ever made about the life of an artist." Within days, Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film, which will open April 1.

Cheadle knows a thing or two about biographical films. The acclaimed actor was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of hotelier Paul Rusesabagina in 2004's Hotel Rwanda, and he won a Golden Globe (and earned an Emmy nomination) for his role as Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1998 HBO movie The Rat Pack.

Co-writing the Miles Ahead script with screenwriter Steven Baigelman, Cheadle deliberately avoided the usual cradle-to-grave biopic approach, opting instead to focus on just three days in the life of Davis in the late has become know as his "silent" period.

Following a press screening in New York, Cheadle answered the inevitable questions about how much the story is invented by saying that "to some degree all biopics are historical fiction." In order to be true to Davis' continual quest to push the music forward, Cheadle felt it was necessary to expand the conventional idea of a biographical film and "to make a movie that Miles would have wanted to see — or star in."

Although the public verdict is not yet in, Davis' family and friends feel that Cheadle hit a homerun. Miles' nephew, drummer/record producer Vince Wilburn Jr., who helps run Miles Davis Enterprises and is one of the film's producers, said, "I think Don f****n' nailed it, period. Don is a badass, and I love him. And you can quote me on that."

Reached by phone at his West Hollywood home, keyboardist Herbie Hancock—who worked extensively with Davis and served as a music consultant for the film — said, "I loved Don's approach to the film. It's not historical, not a documentary. I love the fact that he was being so creative, as a tribute to Miles' own creativity. If you're going to do a film about Miles, it's gotta represent what Miles stood for. He would absolutely have dug this approach. As a matter of fact, Miles would probably have gotten mad if it had been done [as a conventional biopic]. Miles would have said"—and here he imitated Davis' distinctive, gravelly voice—'F*** that.'"

Despite the way the film embellishes the record, one thing that feels authentic is the music. Cheadle, a musician himself, hired pianist Robert Glasper to compose the score. Working together, they took impressive pains to get the music right, whether the scene employs original Davis recordings or Glasper's score, which includes compositions that simulate the trumpeter's various eras and styles so faithfully that they could easily be mistaken for lost Davis recordings. For the score's critical trumpet parts, Glasper turned to Keyon Harrold,

his former classmate at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music. He also assembled a stellar group of musicians to simulate the sound of Davis' groups from the various eras depicted in the film .

As the film begins, Davis, then in his early fifties, hasn't touched the trumpet in three years. He has become a recluse, holing up in his disheveled, roach-infested town-house on West 77th Street in Manhattan, where he spends his days snorting cocaine, consuming copious amounts of alcohol and painkillers to deaden the pain from a degenerative hip disorder, and fending off friends, fans, creditors and record company executives with equal hostility.

Forcing his way into this mess is a freelance journalist named Dave Brill (played by Ewan McGregor), who claims to be on assignment from Rolling Stone magazine in order to write the story of Davis' alleged "comeback." After a violent initial confrontation, the mismatched pair gradually develop a wary respect for each other. The two eventually become entangled in a mission to reclaim a tape of Davis compositions that has been stolen by an unscrupulous record producer named Harper and the gifted young trumpeter, Junior, whom he is promoting.

Beneath this melodramatic surface, however, a more important drama unfolds. Davis is haunted by memories, shown in numerous flashbacks, of his past triumphs and humiliations. He is particularly pained by his failed marriage to the lovely dancer Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi), whose face famously adorns the cover of the 1961 album Someday My Prince Will Come, and who was subjected to his repeated physical abuse. We also get to see him creating some of the music that made him one of the most important musicians of the 20th century.

Cheadle's movie is many things: a buddy action movie; a love story; a feast for fans of the music; and potentially an eye-opening experience for millennial kids who have not yet discovered Davis' oeuvre. But ultimately, Miles Ahead is a meditation on creativity, the mysteries and loneliness of genius—and the toll it can take on an artist's personal life and family.”

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hank Jones - The Elite

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

My how time flies.

It seems like only yesterday that I was off to Tower Records in the North Beach area of San Francisco to check out the latest Verve Elite Edition and now here it is 20 years later as I sit at the computer to write this blog feature about the series.

The Verve Elite Edition was a series of select recordings from the Verve and Mercury jazz catalogs that - because of their historical value and esoteric appeal - were reissued in the mid-to-late 1990’s only as limited-edition CDs. In some cases, previously unreleased material was included: bonus tracks, alternative or incomplete takes, even studio chatter.

All Verve Elite Edition CDs were carefully restored to optimal audio clarity. Unlike the bulk of the Verve commercial CDs, the Verve Elite Edition were available only until the first pressing is sold out.

Mike Lang, a wonderful Jazz pianist and much-in-demand studio musician was the supervisor of the Verve Elite Edition reissues and lots of cool folks helped out including Cynthia Sesso of, Phil Schaap and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.

The Verve Elite CD Edition of Urbanity [314 537 749-2] also includes the tracks from Hank Jones Piano which was recorded on September 1947. On Hank Jones Piano, Hank Jones, one of the smoothest and most versatile pianists in Jazz history, was given a solo date with no strings attached by Norman Granz.  He chose his favorite standards and, with his trademark light, deft touch, produced classic music.

Six years in September 1953, Granz gave Jones an unorthodox rhythm section - no drummer and, playing together for the first time with guitarist Jimmy Smith and bassist Ray Brown - on mostly Jones originals, the three produced equally great Jazz. This music was issued as Urbanity.

In the liner notes pianist Steve Kuhn recounts Jones's recent recollections of these sessions as well as his own ideas about piano playing.

Urbanity and Hank Jones Piano were recorded nearly four-and-a-half and five decades ago respectively. The 1953 date is mostly original compositions while the 1947 date is mostly standards.

Norman Granz, who produced these dates, allowed Hank to pick the repertoire. This isn't always the case in recording situations. Many times the producer will urge the artist to record something in particular. And often the musical results are far less than satisfactory. The artist should have strong feelings for the tunes and spend time living with the material in order to develop a very personal point of view.

So, on the 1947 session, Hank chose standards that were his personal favorites. He stresses how important it is for the artist to choose his own material whenever possible - as the results will certainly reflect that freedom of choice. All of these standard songs were written by master composers, and all have very strong melodies.

Hank believes that the melody should be stated pretty clearly initially and recapped at the end - of course, the improvisation occurs in the middle sections. He adds that, for variety's sake, an artist can reharmonize parts of the melody - that is, use a different chord or set of chords under the melody note or notes. (Some overdo this treating reharmonization as an intellectual exercise; Hank never overdoes it.)

On The Night We Called It a Day and Yesterdays, Hank, in stating the melody pretty dearly, communicates easily with the audience - even though the songs do contain improvisations and reharmonizations. The listener is really never left in limbo for long.

The influence of pianist Art Tatum is certainly evident in these solo pieces. Hank remembers when he heard Tatum on a record for the first time. He thought it was a trick recording that used two pianists at once. (When discovering that it was a single pianist, Hank was amazed - and delighted.) Tatum epitomized swing, harmonic sophistication, and technique, not for its own sake, but for the sake of music. Even on one of the trio pieces, Little Girl Blue, Hank's solo introduction reflects Tatum's presence - the touch, the arpeggiated runs, and the harmony.

Key selections are vital in determining the colors of the music. The standard key for "Little Girl" is F major; Hank chooses D-flat, which gives the tune a more somber cast. Certain songs sound better in certain keys - ideally, the artist should experiment by playing the song in all keys, then choosing which key fits best. (If a pianist and a bassist are playing a ballad together, they should consider the sharp keys - G, D, A, and E - as the bass has the same open strings. The harmonic and acoustic sound is more sonorous and profound than when the other keys are used.)

Hank's harmonies are very sophisticated. Like Tatum, he places the notes within a given chord in a pleasing way. His extensions of the chord, such as altered ninths or elevenths, never sound muddy. He has, as a trademark, a light, delicate touch. Like a Ping-Pong ball bouncing over the keys. Hank's knowledge of tunes is certainly reflected in his playing. His approach reveals his assimilation of repertoire, his technical command of the piano (listen to the solo playing on Yesterdays and Tea for Two), his taste and understatement in group playing (Thad's Pad and Odd Number are orchestrally arranged by Hank, with exposition, then solo, ensemble, and another solo, which leads to the final group statement of the melody), and his overall superb musicianship.

The trio playing here is quite remarkable, considering that Hank and Johnny Smith had never played together prior to the recording. There is a very real danger in piano-guitar ensemble playing because of the inherent similarities of the two instruments; their similar sound in certain registers can lead to one easily getting in the way of the other. But because of the expertise of these musicians, and the way they listen closely to one another, they were able to reinforce and strengthen the music rather than sabotage it.

Hank has nothing but the highest praise for Johnny and Ray Brown. All three have an obvious empathy and a common musical frame of reference. Ray has great ears, and his immediately identifiable sound was already established at the time of this record. Johnny's style is understated, as he does a lot of dose listening in order to underpin the music. In fact, no one stepped in front of the others; all worked for the ensemble.

Hank points out that the piano used was a Steinway concert grand, which is a nine-foot instrument. (The longer the piano, the longer the strings and the larger the sound board - and if it's a good instrument, the sound is so powerful it can be overwhelming. The artist has to harness the instrument.) Back in those days, most of the dub pianos were far below par, terribly out of tune. Pianos were usually uprights or baby grands. So, in a controlled environment such as a concert setting or a studio, it's certainly more inspiring to play on a good grand piano.

Norman Granz put these date together for Hank, and we listeners are certainly richer for it. The music stands up well over the years, as all good art does. This was not cutting-edge stuff in the Fifties, nor is it in the Nineties - what is important is that three stellar musicians led by Hank Jones have created music that swings, that has subtlety and impeccable taste, and that communicates to all. This is, in sum, timeless art.

Steve Kuhn
March 1997

Here are the original notes to Urbanity.

“Urbanity, one will concede, is a most fitting term to describe the aura of Hank Jones's piano, which conjures to mind the sophistication of the city. It is a late-at-night aura, generous in under-statement, deploring the obvious, suggesting rather than declaring. Actually, Henry "Hank" Jones and his piano do recall all of this. But the point should be noted that Hank Jones is not a Manhattan cocktail lounge-type pianist. Far from it. Not only is his musical sophistication much more genuine, but Jones himself is a schooled musician of great inventiveness and fertility of expression. In a word, the sophistication is no veneer, the urbanity no pose.

Hank Jones plays an awful lot of piano. His music is sensitive, pretty (but not just pretty), abundant in ideas and through it all there is a jazz beat - he uses both hands equally well, incidentally, this being a habit which seems to have eluded so many modern young pianists. One of the more interesting facets to Hank Jones is his flair for saying something new with an old song - in this album, for example, Vincent Youmans's "Tea for Two" ranks in the upper rung of most-played songs in the last few decades. "Tea for Two" is even more standard than most songs thoroughly accepted in all quarters as standards - and yet it is well to listen to

Hank Jones play this number and reveal a freshness you may not have thought could exist. Two other standards, just a notch below "Tea for Two" in durability are also to be heard here. They are "Yesterdays", by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, and the Rodgers-Hart evergreen, "The Blue Room". These, too, get a fresh shading and are very pleasant to hear once more. Two others here are pieces by Jones himself - "Blues for Lady Day", written for and inspired by, of course, Billie Holiday, and "Things Are So Pretty in the Spring", both singularly evocative of a mood.

Jones, a native of Pontiac, Michigan, has preferred to concentrate for most of his career in New York, although he has made one tour with Jazz At The Philharmonic (and can be heard in Volume 8 of JATP) and accompanied Ella Fitzgerald in a tour of Europe. A thoroughgoing modernist, Jones has been influenced by Art Tatum and Fats Waller in the successful pursuit of his own individuality.

He is abetted here by the following musicians: Johnny Smith, guitar and Ray Brown, bass.'

Due to restrictive copyright provisions, I was unable to bring you an audio-video sample of the music on The Verve Elite CD Edition of Urbanity [314 537 749-2].

So I turned instead to a track from Hank’s performance on May 22, 2009 with Holland’s magnificent Metropole Orchestra under the direction of Jim McNeely, who is an excellent pianist in his own right.

I’ve selected Star Eyes from the concert because as you will note from the following excerpts from Ted Gioia’s The Jazz Standards, Hank had a long association with the tune dating from the time it was brought into Jazz prominence by alto saxophonist Charlie Parker.

Star Eyes
Composed by Gene de Paul, with lyrics by Don Raye

“Charlie Parker was not the first jazz musician to record this song—several big bands had added it to their repertoire in the early 1940's. But the song had fallen by the wayside before the close of World War II, and no jazz artist had brought it to a recording session for more than five years when Bird resuscitated it for his 1950 Verve studio date. His performance — accompanied by Hank Jones, Ray Brown, and Buddy Rich — turned "Star Eyes" into a standard, and many later versions even borrow the distinctive intro he used on that occasion. …

The song has proven worthy of its second life as a jazz staple. The harmonic personality shifts back and forth between a major and minor sensibility, ultimately resolving into the former, and nicely aligning with the affirmation of romantic optimism in Don Raye's lyrics. The words come close to echoing the cliches of previous "star" songs—from "Star Dust" to "When You Wish upon a Star"—but are imbued with a whimsical enough tone to make these references seem cute rather than parasitical. The melody is first rate, evoking a jazz sensibility with its alternating measures of half notes and eighth notes and the majestic clarion phrase that concludes the final A theme.

Friday, March 25, 2016

"The Excitable Roy Eldridge" by Gary Giddins

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles wouldn’t dream of denying Gary Giddins his “Challah and butter,” but we hope he won’t mind too much if we use the following excerpts from Rhythm-a-ning: Jazz Tradition and Innovation to fulfill a long-standing wish to feature something about trumpeter Roy Eldridge on these pages.

If you haven’t cozied up to Gary’s storytellings, you might want to start with a copy of Rhythm-a-ning: Jazz Tradition and Innovation.

You can locate more information about this book and others that Gary has written by visiting him at

Thankfully, many of the recordings that Roy recorded over the span of his career for Norman Granz at Mercury and later for Norman’s own labels - Clef, Norgran and Verve - are still available as commercial CD’s and Mp3 download. You can locate a comprehensive listing of his output by going here.

The Excitable Roy Eldridge

“Through much of its history, jazz made avid converts with the simple promise of undying excitement, whether maximized by throbbing rhythms, blood-curdling high notes, violent polyphony, layered riffs, hyperbolic virtuosity, fevered exchanges, or carnal funk. Yet excitement often gets a bum rap from those converts who, having mined the music's deeper recesses, suspect all crowd-pleasing gestures of vulgarity. At bottom, the distinction between the two is subtle but clear: if you like it, it's exciting; if not, it's vulgar. As Sidney Bechet noted, "You got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." If you're cold to a musician's impassioned yowling, that passion will seem awfully dim if not aimless, and since crowds more than individuals thrive on excitement, your response to musical rabble-rousing may depend on your willingness to get lost in a crowd.

The showiest expressions of passion frequently border on outright pandering, but immoderation of that sort is a healthy symptom — it tends to proliferate in a milieu where authentic excitement also flourishes. Over the past decade, excitement has been scarce to a degree that not even the spaciest '50s cool-jazz hipster could have anticipated, while vulgarity continues unabated in its new garb, substituting pretentious meditation for caterwauling. Still, that part of the audience that hasn't been rendered insensible by ECM-styled stabiles of sound, in which slowness indicates profundity, hungers for le jazz hot, as witness the gratitude with which it greets the appended swing theme that, in so many contemporary performances, caps an hour's worth of esoteric clamor. …

[Roy] Eldridge ... [one of the most] … electrifying of jazz trumpeters first came to prominence in the '30's with a flashy, passionate, many-noted style that rampaged freely through three octaves, rich with harmonic ideas and impervious to the fastest tempos. In part, his secret was to transfer ideas patented on the more facile tenor saxophone to the trumpet; his ability to play Coleman Hawkins's solo on Fletcher Henderson's 1926 "Stampede" got him his first job, and more than a decade later, when Hawkins, lording it in Europe, heard the first Eldridge recordings, he vowed to work with the younger man when he returned to the States ….

The decade preceding the emergence of bop was rife with frantic, exhilarating trumpeters. After the war, the tenor sax would assume that role of crowd pleaser, honking and moaning like a Baptist who'd just heard the word. But in the '30s and early '40s Louis Armstrong's instrument was still king, and while many of its best practitioners pursued the course of lyrical composure (among them Buck Clayton, Bobby Hackett, Bill Coleman, Harry Edison, and Doc Cheatham), others—Eldridge, Red Allen, Bobby Stark, Hot Lips Page, Charlie Shavers, Shad Collins, Rex Stewart—strove for an agitated, coruscating approach as thrilling as anything heard in American music. If they were more likely to overstep the bounds of good taste, there was a payback — they took the most expressive risks. Eldridge was the most emotionally compelling, versatile, rugged, and far-reaching. His ballads were complicated but stirringly lucid, and his bravura numbers were played with such bracing authority that they dwarfed the competition. To a young Dizzy Gillespie, "He was the Messiah of our generation."

In one way or another, Armstrong fathered all the trumpeters mentioned above. Eldridge started listening to him in 1931, at twenty, taking cues from his dramatic storytelling intensity, his logic, his gleaming high-note flourishes. ...

Nor were Eldridge's high notes rounded like Armstrong's. Instead, shaded by a rapid shake, they seemed a spontaneous, un-containable explosion of feeling. …. His high notes were never merely high; and rather than concluding performances, they tended to prefigure fiery parabolas of melody. Orson Welles once explained that the screaming white cockatoo in Citizen Kane was inserted to keep the audience alert. Eldridge's expressive cries and banshee whistles serve the same purpose, telegraphing his own excitement…”

If you have never seen a 78 rpm [revolutions per minute] record in action, then you are sure to enjoy the following video which features Roy’s very exciting original 78 rpm version of After You’ve Gone as played on a Victrola.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Goings on At Pops' House

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

Obviously, the following notification falls more favorably to those who live in New York City or have easy access to The Big Apple, but Jim Eigo of Jazz Promo Service relayed  the following information and I thought I would put it up on the blog because nothing pleases me more than talking about Pops on these pages.

Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month at the Louis Armstrong House Museum and the 60th Anniversary of Edward R. Murrow’s Satchmo the Great
Receive Rare Print of Louis Armstrong’s
First Arrival In Africa in 1956
Visitors to the Louis Armstrong House Museum will get a rare treat this April to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month.  The museum will give all visitors a rare print of Louis’s first arrival in Africa in 1956, a tour immortalized in Edward R. Murrow’s film, Satchmo the Great (while supplies last).  City University of New York (CUNY) students will enjoy free admission all month long and New York City public school children and their families will enjoy free admission during Spring Break, April 23 – April 30.

This rare photo from the museum's Ernie Anderson Collection depicts a major moment in Louis Armstrong's career: his arrival in the Gold Coast of Africa (soon to become the independent nation of Ghana) in May 1956. Armstrong had never been to Africa before and when he arrived, his airplane was met by a mob of spectators, including thirteen trumpeters playing a traditional African song, "Sly Mongoose," retitled "All for You, Louis" for the occasion. The photo depicts the moment Armstrong pulled out his horn to play along, a momentous meeting of the two cultures. It was saved by Armstrong's longtime publicist Ernie Anderson and was acquired by the Louis Armstrong House Museum in 2012. The photo has never been exhibited or published until now for Jazz Appreciation Month 2016.  It stands a special reminder of Armstrong's power as America's "Ambassador of Goodwill," an appropriate message for Jazz Appreciation Month and International Jazz Day.
International Jazz Day, April 30th Special Screening of Satchmo the Great

The museum’s Jazz Appreciation Month programming culminates with a special Jazz Day Screening of Edward R. Murrow’s Satchmo the Great in partnership with the Museum of the City of New York.  Satchmo the Great was created by famed broadcaster Edward R. Murrow who followed Louis Armstrong around the world, filming him in Paris, Sweden, Switzerland, England, and Africa, before returning back to New York for an unforgettable performance of "St. Louis Blues" with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Bernstein. This film captures "Ambassador Satch" at his 1950s peak, entertaining 100,000 fans in the Gold Coast of Africa, playing his big hit "Mack the Knife" in London, and humorously explaining the definition of a "cat" in a rollicking Paris interview with Murrow. Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections at the Louis Armstrong House Museum, will introduce the film, which has not been commercially available since its original theatrical release in 1956.
Satchmo the Great will be screened on Saturday, April 30, 2016 at the Museum of the City of New York located at 1220 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10029 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm.  Tickets are $16 ($12 for seniors and students) and can be reserved online at  The museum can also be reached at 212.534.1672.

Planning Your Visit to Louis Armstrong House Museum
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located at 34-56 107th Street in Corona, Queens, New York. The museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm.  No reservations are necessary for individuals but groups of 8 or more should call 718.478.8274 or visit to make a reservation.  Parking is available within the neighborhood and the museum is accessible by subway via the 7 Train.
Admission is $10.00, $7.00 for seniors, students and children and free for LAHM members and children under 4. Groups with reservations enjoy a discount on admission.  In celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, all CUNY students with valid ID enjoy free admission for April 2016 (2 guests per ID) and all New York City public school children and their families can enjoy free admission during Spring Break, April 23 – April 30, 2016.
Louis Armstrong House Museum
Thanks to the vision and funding of the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, the Louis Armstrong House Museum welcomes visitors from all over the world, six days per week, 52 weeks per year.  The Louis Armstrong House Museum is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, Association of African American Museums, Museums Council of New York City, New York State Museums Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, NYC & Co., the Queens Chamber of Commerce and the Queens Tourism Council.  The museum is a constituent of Kupferberg Center for the Arts and a cultural center of Queens College, CUNY.
About the Museum of the City of New York
The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum connects the past, present and future of New York City. It serves the people of New York and visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications and collections.
March 21, 2016

For Immediate Release
Jennifer M. Walden
Director, Marketing & External Affairs
Louis Armstrong House Museum