Kutiman has dropped his new video album: OFF GRID (YouTube version here). "In this new work, Kutiman utilizes his unique method of carefully blanketing together YouTube users' original content into one natural and cohesive audio-visual experience. This time around, Kutiman plays with the concept of expanded time, musical complexity and intricate layering while adding special visual effects to create a new perspective of the Jazz genre."
(Follow-upFilter) It's rare that jazz videos venture beyond filming live performances. This makes the exceptions all the more notable. Animation seems the medium of choice: from George Griffin's 1988 paper collage for Charlie Parker's "Ko Ko" to Len Lye's swinging The Lambeth Walk (1939), or (stretching musical definitions just a bit) his 1958 masterpiece "Free Radicals". More recent jazz seems to fit just as well: witness Lung's psychotic piece for Ladyscraper's "Thou Art Fucking Dead". [more inside]
Its animated-type opening credits set the tone - and when, soon after, Jonas Mekas stumbles in, explaining his version of the butterfly-wing theory, you know this is a different kind of rock-movie. Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel's 1990 music film "Step Across the Border" matches 35mm black&white cinema direct to several seasons of poly-instrumentalist Fred Frith's round-the-globe improvisational jams (with the likes of Joey Baron, Iva Bitová, Arto Lindsay, John Zorn and others). A big-wig at Cahiers du Cinema has it in his top-ten - now you can watch this masterpiece of visual jazz online (or do yourself a favour and get the DVD). (Thanks to Vincent Moon for the heads-up.)