Musically Speaking – Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser

Please join us for Musically Speaking with DJ Soul Sister – A series of music-themed movies and documentaries, curated and hosted by DJ Soul Sister, and co-presented by Press Street, WWOZ and Charitable Film Network.  Free Admission – SEATING IS LIMITED.  For more information, contact

THELONIOUS MONK: Straight, No Chaser by Charlotte Zwering
Expanding on footage of Thelonious Monk’s 1967 tour shot by Christian Blackwood, Charlotte Zwering (Gimme Shelter) has created the definitive filmic portrait of the master bop pianist-composer, digging deep into the life of the famously eccentric pianist-composer. Straight, No Chaser fleshes out Monk’s character considerably – from his harmonic theories to his use of quarter–tones (produced by hitting two adjacent piano keys simultaneously and occasionally even striking the boards with his entire forearm or his foot), to his mysterious relationship with his patron, baroness Nica de Koenigswarter. Monk’s music, naturally, is at the center of this canny portrait, giving fans cause to rejoice since most of the movie’s performances had been previously unavailable in any form.  (1988, 90 minutes)

Tuesday, July 30
Freestyle – The Art of Rhyme
(2005, 75 min.)
A celebration of the role of MC in the hip hop culture, this film documents the history and art of freestyle rap, featuring mainstream icons such as Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur, as well as underground heroes like Common, Black Thought (the Roots) Chali Tuna (Jurassic 5), Mikah 9 (Freestyle Fellowship), and Mos Def (Black Star), not to mention commentary from a historical perspective by Abiodun Oyewole and Umar Bin Hassan of the legendary Last Poets.