film · jazz


Two members of the History Department’s administrative staff thoughtfully helped me attached this poster to foam core board.


Tomorrow  “The Grant Green Story” will be screened at the University of Alabama. It’s been a long haul. It feels like a baby that requires care.

UA’s Recital Hall.

Before I shared it with colleagues, students and others at UA, I needed a dry run. So, I headed over to the Music School today to make sure it projected well. While there, I was struck by the behavior of the students I saw, among them one who said his instrument was his voice.

The student reminded me of the moments I spent at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. There, I earned my first graduate degree (in Dance with a focus on film, theatre and history, if you can believe it). When you are earning a degree in the arts, the air just feels different. There is a  kind of lightness, a kind of intensity.

Photo taken after making sure the movie projected well in the Music School.

While trying to see if my film would project well, I was blessed to have the assistance of a professor appropriately named Faith. We talked Hammond organs. I told her Grant Green, the subject of tomorrow’s film, knew Jimmy Smith, a well-known jazz organist, very well.

On the way back to my office, I heard the faint sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Sing a Song.” It was coming from a bar near campus. And then I heard it coming from another source: the mail truck idling beside my car.

It was an appropriate tune. Few things lift my day like music, like a song.

Crossing fingers and toes all will be well.

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