Mingus music in Robert Frank film

An up-coming authorized documentary entitled “Don’t Blink” about photographer Robert Frank (“The Americans”)  will include three Mingus compositions:   “Nostalgia in Times Square,”  “Haitian Fight Song,” and “Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am.”

From the early ’90s on, Frank has been making his films and videos with the brilliant editor Laura Israel, who has helped him to keep things homemade and preserve the illuminating spark of first contact between camera and people/places. Don’t Blink is Israel’s like-minded portrait of her friend and collaborator, a lively rummage sale of images and sounds and recollected passages and unfathomable losses and friendships that leaves us a fast and fleeting imprint of the life of the Swiss-born man who reinvented himself the American way, and is still standing on ground of his own making at the age of 90.

The film will premiere at the New York Film Festival in October.


Mingus music in Jaco Pastorius Documentary

Two Mingus compositions — “Dry Cleaner of Des Moines” and “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”– can be heard in an upcoming production JACO: A Documentary Film.
JACO tells the story of Jaco Pastorius, a self-taught, larger-than-life musician who changed the course of modern music.  Never-before-seen archive footage unveils the story of Jaco’s life, his music, his demise, and the lasting victory of artistic genius.  Featuring Joni Mitchell, Sting, Flea, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins, Santana, Wayner Shorter and more.  JACO will leave you longing for a time when “musicians owned the music industry.”  Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo with Passion Pictures (Searching For Sugar Man) and directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijack.

Read more here

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Aids Research

One year ago, Sue Mingus participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in memory of her husband, Charles Mingus.  A stunt that once seemed silly, now scientists say it paid for a breakthrough. The ALS Association says the ice bucket challenge raised $115 million in six weeks, and many participants have become repeat donors.  Research led Johns Hopkins scientists focused on a protein called TDP-43 that in some circumstances is linked to cell death in the brain or spinal cord of patients.  The scientists found that inserting a custom-designed protein allowed cells to return to normal.  The research at Johns Hopkins on TDP-43 was already underway, but scientist Philip Wong says ice bucket money helped accelerate the work and allowed the team to conduct some high-risk, high-reward experiments that were critical to the outcome.

Read more:  New York Times and Science Magazine