Looking for an entertaining way of getting your Black History Month celebrations off to a rousing start? Why not invite some friends over for a viewing of Edward O. Bland's groundbreaking 1959 indie film The Cry Of Jazz, a zealously didactic treatise on jazz music as black America's creative response to oppression in an inhuman society and the white devil's ultimate goal of annihilating the black race. Bland uses a racially mixed, upwardly mobile dinner party setting as a vehicle to deliver his eyebrow-raising rhetoric and intriguing alternative history of jazz music's evolution, which culminates with the bold claim that "jazz is dead." Remember, this is before the release of Coltrane's Giant Steps. To illustrate his points, Bland uses live Chicago club footage of the Sun Ra Arkestra rumbling full bore, with John Gilmore leading the way. It's an extremely rare document of the early Arkestra in action that you won't see anywhere else, and for that reason alone The Cry Of Jazz is worth investigating.