It's called the act of painting for a reason.
-Willem Defoe (At Eternities Gate)
Christopher Braig is a self-taught experimental filmmaker. He seeks to create "non-biographical" documentaries based on personal experience. His film techniques are derived from the self-reflexive work of Jean-Luc Godard and the "jump cut revolutionaries" of the French New Wave. The resulting work is then mastered through the "timbres and tempos" of American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel providing those willing a chance to "flip the script" and watch a movie while always being aware they are watcing a movie.
The Film, Collected Recordings, Complete Interviews, and Artifacts are archived at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Christopher Braig's 2019 New York Jazz Film Festival award winning 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.
The film features interviews with fifteen time Grammy nominee Fred Hersch, Count Basie bassist Lynn Seaton, saxophonist Rick VanMatre, and many legendary Cincinnati based jazz musicians who played with McGary. Christopher Braig traveled 25,000 miles and for more than a year filming in New York City, Cincinnati, Louisville, Washington DC and Boston.
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 recordings were retrieved from radio broadcasts of live performances and rapidly decaying amateur reel to reel and cassette tapes.
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.