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Music Is My Life Politics My Mistress


Winner of 11 Film Festivals, aired on PBS.

A powerful and gripping portrait of the remarkable artistry and life of Oscar Brown Jr.
A playful and charismatic performer, Brown is also an acclaimed jazz lyricist who worked closely with Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone and collaborated with Max Roach and Bobby Timmons on some of the most memorable compositions of the hard bop era. Beyond his musical achievements, Brown also engaged in a parallel career as a lifelong political activist of tireless strength and unceasing moral stamina, and his entire life can be read as a parable of the civil rights and Black Power eras in the United States. His lyrics touching on every subject from human dignity and childhood wonder to marijuana and cockroaches, Brown emerges as a kind of Black Everyman.
The product of one of Chicago's most respected African-American families, Oscar Brown Jr. (1926-2005) amassed a wide array of showbiz credits as singer, poet, jazz artist and radio and TV host during a career spanning six decades. Docu spends considerable time detailing the fascinating history of "Kicks & Company," a nearly-legendary '60s musical that Brown first previewed during an unprecedented two-hour showcase on NBC's "Today" show. Brown's sassy high spirits are conveyed vividly during snippets of his live concert performances. His jazz-underscored, seriocomic poetry riffs -- which often sound like influential forerunners of rap and hip-hop -- should motivate many viewers to dip into the catalog of Brown's recordings.
Camera (color, DV), Mark Alston, Charles Gary; editor, Dave Wruck; music, Ron Miles. Reviewed at Nashville Film Festival (Music Films in Music City), April 24, 2006. (Also in SXSW Film Festival.) Running time: 110 MIN.

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 13 August, 2010.

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