Monday, August 9, 2010
Jay McShann's Kansas City
I'm proud of the contributions Plastic Sax has made to the Kansas City jazz scene since its inception in 2007. KCJazzLark, the "other" Kansas City jazz blog, celebrates its first anniversary today.
While the commentary and historic documentation provided by the site's author are invaluable, the videos he's unearthed are international treasures. Long after we're gone, the footage KCJazzLark has brought to light will continue to be viewed by grateful music lovers and scholars.
The forgotten documentary on Jay McShann he uploaded last week is absolutely stunning. With the blessing of KCJazzLark, I'm featuring the second of two clips. (The first segment of the thirty-minute film can be viewed here.)
Although it's ostensibly an intimate portrait of McShann, the film's subtext is the tragic decline of the importance of jazz in Kansas City. Here are a few of my favorite segments: At 0:01 and 4:35 McShann points out shuttered clubs; at 2:04 and 2:46 McShann explains jazz's irresistible siren song; the earthy banter that begins at 5:18 is a joy to behold.
Thanks again, KCJazzLark.