masculinity musings & more


At Ronnie Scott's
Grant Green and Ronnie Scott’s, a jazz club in London, circa 1969.

I had a packed weekend. The feedback at the Edinburgh and final screening of The Grant Green Story jazz documentary was outstanding. It affirmed so much of what I have been thinking about what’s ahead.

Seeing the experiences of the most recorded artist for Blue Note Records, America’s first independent jazz label, depicted onscreen again in a real theatre affirmed, too, the need to look for multi-layered stories. This is not just a film about a jazz musician. It is certainly a film about his son. It is also a documentary that reels in across time changes in America  and how we observe the male body and especially the black male body. Such an idea is expressed at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which I visited on Sunday, a day after the film screening.

See the Youtube clip on this page to see some of the images and exhibits that I saw, among them one by artist Graham Fagen that brings together the music of Jamaican artist Ghetto Priest and violins.

This sort of unseeming linkages resonated. Before his death, Grant said he wanted to “get with some violins.”

If you are in Edinburgh, please visit this museum and see the fine curating happening there. It is more than just a walk down monarch memory lane. There are many contemporary issues on display here that will push your thinking.

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