Friday, May 20, 2016

Chuck Kleinhans: “The Cry of Jazz and the expressive politics of music and race: interview with Ed Bland,” Jump Cut no. 54., fall 2012.

The above CD cover and photo of Ed Bland are from some of several posts on the composer at, including this one on his passing, dated March 16, 2013:

Chuck Kleinhans is Associate Professor Emeritus, Radio/TV/Film Dept.,
Northwestern University.  He writes:

Dear Mr. Zick,

I just discovered your website via a blog post by Sergio Mims re the upcoming release of African American films.

I wondered if you were aware of the small, but significant, body of classical music composed by the late Edward Bland.  Although he spent most of his career as a producer and A&R man in the commercial industry, he was formally trained in classical music, and after retirement published a number of serious works, including recording some of them.

I met him c. 1998 after seeing his remarkable 1959 film about jazz.  And I interviewed him.

“The Cry of Jazz and the expressive politics of music and 
race: interview with Ed Bland,” Jump Cut no. 54., fall 
The main reason to go to University of Chicago was, that I knew if I had gone to a conservatory, yes I’d learn all the craft. At Northwestern too, I would learn all the craft I needed, but I wouldn’t know why. I had to find out what was, why was music conceived of in the manner in which was, in terms of writing contemporary symphonic music. And so I figured, well, I know University of Chicago is not a good school in terms of making all the connections you need to make and learning all the performance skills and things like that, but at least I can ask these questions---they’ll tolerate my questions. So I went there. And they tolerated my questions, uhm for a little bit…(laughs)…up to a point. But they hated me, you know. But I didn’t give a damn about that. ‘Cause I had to get my answers. And you know, eventually, I did get either the answers or I knew how to get them. 
So then I transferred to the American Conservatory of Music, and the UC Music Department was very happy to see me go. I finished up the rest of my GI Bill at American Conservatory. [9] And a little bit later, I studied with a modernist composer, an atonal composer in the Chicago area named John Becker, who used to teach at Chicago Musical College. I studied privately with him. Well Becker was one of the early American modernists like Charles Ives. [10]
There was at least one CD of his concert music produced, and the compositions themselves are in several libraries  such as Northwestern University’s music library.



Chuck Kleinhans
Associate Professor Emeritus
Radio/TV/Film Dept.
Northwestern University

co-editor, JUMP CUT: a review of contemporary media

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