The Cast & Crew

The main characters in The Cry of Jazz.
The main characters in The Cry of Jazz. ©Deep in the Pocket, 2018.

The Cry of Jazz wouldn't have been possible without every participant volunteering their time. Approximately 65 people essentially worked for free. Experience and exposure is what everyone was offered instead of a wage. The crew was made up of friends and acquaintances who assisted in everything from driving actors and crew around town, to providing the apartment set and props used in the film. The actors consisted of untrained university students, local amateurs from Chicago's Black community theater scene, and nascent Second City stragglers. A few of the performers would go on to have notable careers. Laroy Inman became an established folk singer and recording artist; Gavin MacFadyen became a renowned investigative journalist; Andrew Duncan performed at The Second City and in Hollywood; and probably the most known, Linda (Melinda) Dillon, would become a Tony- and Oscar-nominated actress, starring in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and A Christmas Story.

Le Sun Ra appearing in The Cry of Jazz.
Le Sun Ra appearing in The Cry of Jazz. ©Deep in the Pocket, 2018.

The musicians performing in the film in various guises are Le Sun Ra & his Arkestra, featuring the likes of John Gilmour, Julian Priester, and Marshall Allen. Paid a nominal fee, Sun Ra was looking to promote his own label El Saturn Records, and hoped the exposure would garner future live gigs. After setting up shop in NYC as an arranger, Ed Bland would use Sun Ra on a number of recordings throughout the 1960s.

Two cinematographers shot the film: Hank Starr and Howard Alk. Alk—who Ed Bland knew from the Gate of Horn music club where The Cry's music scenes were shot—was also a film editor, and was hired to edit The Cry. With his close friend Paul Sills, Alk would help co-found (and name) the now legendary The Second City, and would also later go on to make a number of acclaimed documentary films on Fred Hampton, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan.

Cast

Alex George Waller
Natalie Dorothea Horton
Faye Linda Dillon
John Andrew Duncan
Louis Laroy Inman
Bob James Miller
Bruce Gavin McFadyen
Jazz Club Member Carl Dupree
Goldina Rojas
Alan Leavitt
Carl McCormack
Lettie Mae Randolph

Crew

Producer Edward O. Bland
Nelam L. Hill
Director Edward O. Bland
Assistant Director Nelam L. Hill
Art Director Bernard Goss
Director of Photography Hank Starr
Additional Photography Jonathan Chernoble
Editor Howard Alk
Writer Edward O. Bland
Nelam L. Hill
Mark Kennedy
Script Consultant Eugene Titus
Madeline Tourtelot
Frank McGovern
Lighting Valentin Scheglowski
Musical Director Edward O. Bland
Sound Crew Garry Harris
Timmy Harris
Nelam L. Hill
Music Written By Le Sun Ra
Paul Severson
Julian Priester
Eddie Higgins
Norman Leist
Stills Valentin Scheglowski
Betty McCarthy