Imagine the Sound

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Imagine the Sound
Imagine the Sound.jpg
Directed byRon Mann
Produced byRon Mann
Bill Smith
StarringPaul Bley
Bill Dixon
Archie Shepp
Cecil Taylor
CinematographyRobert Fresco
Edited bySonya Polonsky
Release date
  • 1981 (1981)
Running time
90 minutes

Imagine the Sound is a 1981 Canadian documentary film about the once-controversial genre of free jazz, directed by Ron Mann.[1] It serves as Mann's feature film directorial debut.[2]


Imagine the Sound marks Mann's feature film directorial debut; he made the film while he was still in his early twenties.[2] The film deals with the once-controversial genre of free jazz.[3][4][1]

Shot entirely in Toronto, the film features interviews with and musical and dramatic performances by pianist Cecil Taylor, saxophonist Archie Shepp, trumpeter Bill Dixon, and pianist Paul Bley.[3][4][5] Bill Smith features as the interviewer of the film's subjects.[6]


The film has been digitally restored and was released on DVD in 2007.[7][8]


Critic and film historian Jonathan Rosenbaum has said that Imagine the Sound “may be the best documentary on free jazz that we have.”[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IMAGINE THE SOUND | The Clinton Street Theater". Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  2. ^ a b "Canadian Film Encyclopedia - Ron Mann". Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  3. ^ a b "Documentary Screening: Imagine The Sound (1981) - Gardiner Museum". Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  4. ^ a b "IMAGINE THE SOUND". Austin Film Society. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  5. ^ Jazz, All About. "Paul Bley/Archie Shepp/Bill Dixon/Cecil Taylor: Imagine the Sound article @ All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  6. ^ "Imagine The Sound". Sphinx Productions. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Sphinx Productions". Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
  8. ^ "KQEK DVD Review: Imagine the Sound (1981)". Retrieved 2021-05-26.
  9. ^ Imagine the Sound (1981) - Film Affinity, retrieved 2021-05-26

External links[edit]