Jimmy McGary The Best Jazz You Never Heard Full Feature

Christopher Braig's first film Jimmy McGary The Best Jazz You Never Heard tells the story of a 20th Century American Master.

Jimmy McGary (1926-1993) was a force of nature on the tenor saxophone. Often called "daddy jazz" by those around him he was regarded as the center of jazz saxophone in the region for decades. McGary possessed a brilliant mind and could speak on any subject.

Jimmy's influence continues even as his recordings have gone virtually unheard for decades. The film contains more than a dozen rare recordings spanning the years 1968 to 1987. All but two being taken from radio broadcasts of live performances and rapidly decaying amateur reel to reel and cassette tapes.

Christopher Braig traveled 25,000 miles and for more than a year filming in New York City, Cincinnati, Louisville, Washington DC and Boston.

This is the story of a much neglected artist and intellectual who lived a difficult life at times but overcame his struggles to leave a lasting legacy as an artist, mentor and father. Jimmy McGary remains one of the most beloved figures in Cincinnati music history to this very day.

This eighty minute look at the jazz world of Cincinnati from 1968 to 1988 features interviews, rare recordings and the only known video of Jimmy McGary performing. The story is told in a non biographical style inviting the audience to experience the music and lifestyle of musicians struggling to eek out a living on the margins while managing to enjoy themselves to the fullest along the way.

The film was edited using Jazz improvisation techniques merged with the radical shifts of the 1960's French "Jump Cut Revolutionaries" of the "Nouvelle Vogue" blurring the line between music video and documentary. The result is a deeper experience with Jimmy McGary and his music extending beyond mere biography.

The film was shot on location in Cincinnati, Louisville, Boston, Washington DC and New York City.

​FEATURING: Fred Hersch, Wayne Yeager, Lynn Seaton, Pat Kelly, Steve Schmidt, Christian Finger, Peter Knoll, Michael Skaggs, Sean McGary, Chuck Fertal, David Mathews, Rick VanMatre, Lou Lausche, Jerry Peluso, Robyn Carey-Allgeyer and Carol McGary

  • Runtime:
    1 hour 19 minutes 39 seconds
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project: