Imagine the Sound

Director: Ron Mann

Institute History

  • 1986 Sundance Film Festival


Imagine the Sound is an exuberant jazz documentary that doesn’t miss a beat. Four avant-garde musicians of the ‘60’s—Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp, Bill Dixon and Paul Bley—gathered at Mann’s invitation in a Toronto recording studio. They talk and play at length. Shepp weaves the influence of John Coltrane with thoughts of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Bley and Dixon often sound like witty college professors, discussing how ‘60’s jazz intersects with movements in dance, poetry and painting. Even the remarks of Cecil Taylor, the mystic, sound like poetry. But it is the music that carries the film, hour-long jam sessions that are as joyful as they are liberating.

Screening Details

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