08/15/11 By Oscar Sanders
Billy Bang: Long Over Due in Post Production
The dynamics and thought process of innovative jazz violinist Billy Bang when composing music and preforming it as well as the energy that his band mates feed on that is hardly ever explained but is always experienced by the listener
Back in September 2010, I was asked by Billy Bang to direct a documentary about his musical life. He didn't want that documentary to be shot in the traditional format like a standard biography. He wanted it to be about technical aspects and musical communication between himself and the musicians he shard the stage with. Shooting began in October 2010 in Patterson, New Jersey at the public library for an intimate audience of much appreciative music lovers. From there Billy Bang: Long Over Due began to take shape.This is a synopsis of the film.
In the 1970's, the jazz music scene was changing. Out from the traditional modalities of ragtime, dixieland, mainstream, big band, and be bop sprang a new idiom: progressive jazz. A style where structure was bent to include individualism, expressionism, and dynamic energy as well as unadulterated improvisation. Violinist Billy Bang invaded that scene at that time and found a home and continued to contribute to that modality until his death on 4/11/2011. He recorded numerous albums and cd’s and toured the world extensively sharing his music and spirit with fans of the genre. To talk to the Bang about labels he will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t consider himself akin to any particular style. He would described what he does as just plain music that you need to listen to. Billy Bang: Long Over Due explores the life and musical journey of a true American original. The crux of the film will explain the dynamics and thought process of musicians when putting music together and preforming it as well as the energy that they feed on that is hardly ever explained but is always experienced by the listener. Twelve musicians with intimate and personal knowlege sat down to be interviwed for this film. From his childhood to his formative years to his time in the military and subsequent music career, Billy remained a fascinating and enigmatic figure. Interviews with several musicians who worked with and knew him personally, paint a picture of a man who lived and played free of constructs for 3 ½ decades. Now, the multiple award winning violinist’s story is finally being told because it’s long over due. Trailer will preceed the teaser linked below with the feature length film to be released in 2012. Stay tuned all you Bang fans...stay tuned.
Link to teaser (copy and past this link into your browser)
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