Music documentarian Robert Mugge discusses his new memoir 'Notes from the Road'
Music Documentarian Robert Mugge is out with his new memoir, Notes from the Road: A Filmmaker's Journey through American Music.
The book focuses on the making of what Mugge considers to be his 25 key music-related docs. Among them are Deep Blues, Saxophone Colossus with Sonny Rollins, Black Wax with Gil Scott-Heron, Gospel According to Al Green and maybe his most famous doc Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise.
Mugge spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about his memoir and the upcoming screenings of three of his earliest music docs.
On August 10th through the 12th, the Roxy Cinema in New York will screen his Sun Ra and Gil Scott-Heron films, as well as his 1983 reggae concert film Cool Runnings made in 1983.
Mugge says his life changed when he went to the 1972 Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival and watched Sun Ra and his Arkestra perform.
"I will still an undergraduate at the time at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. There I witnessed Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Miles Davis, Bonnie Raitt with Sippie Wallace, Junior Walker and the All-Stars, but as great as everyone was, the one who blew me away was Sun Ra. It was a combination of a lot of things, the soulful vocals, the squealing saxophones and the Afro-Caribbean rhythms."
That performance would lead Mugge to work on a documentary on Sun Ra that eventually came out in 1980.
During his WBGO interview, Mugge also shares stories about Sonny Rollins and why he doesn't consider himself a music historian.
You can SEE the entire interview with Robert Mugge here.