CMCI’s Dr Harvey G Cohen appeared this week on BBC Radio 2 as part of a new documentary entitled “Jazz at the Movies,” hosted by British jazz performer Jamie Cullum. Drawing from material from his book Duke Ellington’s America (University of Chicago Press), Cohen discussed how, during the 1930s, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra were featured in Hollywood movies earlier and more respectably than any other African American figures during the decade. He also talked about Ellington’s excellent 1959 soundtrack for the Otto Preminger film Anatomy of a Murder, and how it formed one element in Ellington’s many efforts of the period to fight nostalgia and create a new identity for senior citizens in the popular music world.
“Jazz at the Movies” was produced by Ian Parkinson, a long-time BBC producer and executive who Cohen brought to MA CCI to speak with students in November 2008. The show will be on BBC iPlayer until next Monday, the address is below. Cohen appears at the following times in the broadcast: 14:15-21:45, 35:20-37:00, 41:00-49:30, but the whole broadcast is really good and features a lot of excellent music: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01s42l7/Jazz_at_the_Movies_Episode_1/