This is a documentary film about a pioneering jazz group from the early 1960’s, the New York Art Quartet. They were part of a genre of jazz that was sometimes called „free jazz.“ They were only together from 1964-65, but their ideas about composition, improvisation, timing, harmony and rhythm affected the future of jazz music.
The group consisted of John Tchicai (saxophone), Roswell Rudd (trombone), Milford Graves (drums), Reggie Workman (bass), and joined by poet Amiri Baraka.
Some 35 years later, they reunited for a concert in New York City, followed by two more appearances in Paris and Lisbon.
The Breath Courses Through Us centers around the initial reunion concert and dinner, and includes interviews with the musicians, and other musicians, recounting their history, early development, ideas, memories, and especially their personalities. The viewer gets up and personal in sometimes intimate moments among them.
This film is edited in an unfolding, lyrical manner, enveloped in their music, and at the end, the viewer becomes friends with the musicians, and wants to learn more.