Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (DVD-R)
Filmmaker Bruce Ricker couldn’t believe his luck. Michael and Christian Blackwood’s extensive 1968 footage of modern jazz pianist/composer Thelonious Monk – including the very private Monk offstage – was in excellent shape. The reels were, Ricker said, “just sitting there like the Dead Sea Scrolls of jazz.” Ricker, as coproducer, joins director and fellow producer Charlotte Zwerin (Gimme Shelter), executive producer Clint Eastwood and others to bring these “scrolls” to vibrant life. Their Thelonious Monk Straight, No Chaser combines the Blackwood footage of groundbreaker Monk in studio, on tour and behind the scenes with new interviews, archival photos and more to create a landmark aural and visual treat.