An expressionist journey into the world known as free jazz

Inside Out In The Open is a 60-minute documentary focusing on the revolutionary developments in jazz music that evolved in the early 1960's, expanding the boundaries in rhythm, sound, harmonics, and collective improvisation, with an expansive openness and deep emotion.

The film revolves around interviews with eleven musicians, whose words are complemented by their music and that of many other musicians.

Free improvisational music is a tradition that continues to this day, filled with creative energy and affecting newer and younger listeners. The voices of the musicians, speaking about creating music, their influences, memories of the 60's from the first generation, is exciting and instructive to the newest of musicians and to anyone interested in the creative process.

Only a few films have examined this music and there musicians, especially films from the United States. The 10-part "Jazz" documentary on public television by Ken Burns in 2001 not only ignored most of the musicians of this genre, but also gave negative criticism of their contributions.

Inside Out In The Open is therefore a significant contribution to the history of jazz music.


Produced, directed and edited: Alan Roth     Camera: Omer Ali Kazma, Alan Roth, Peter Schmuhl
Audio: Matthew Hutchinson, Matthew Silver     Online editor: Tom Hayes 

Inside Out In The Open was the first feature documentary by filmmaker Alan Roth. Mr. Roth lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to work on many other projects, both dramatic and documentary. This first film was a labor of love for Mr. Roth, who realized that there was only a handful of documentaries about this music.

Roth is a former career postal worker from Cleveland, Ohio, where he also was a labor/political activist, as well as active in artistic circles. Much of his creative work has been connected to projects that concern human rights, from a political perspective to a health issues program, and culture. A recent contribution was directing and editing a dramatic story of women, their men, and the fight against HIV infection. This video was the centerpiece of a major study hosted by Rutgers University and funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Roth was also one of the filmmakers in Seven Days in September about the aftermath of September 11, 2001, in the city of New York. That documentary was broadcast several times on the A&E cable network and in theatres. He also was associate producer of the PBS documentary Parliament-Funkadelic: One Nation Under A Groove, about George Clinton and the group Parliament-Funkadelic. Often hired as a cameraperson, Roth also shot part of the Food Network series A Cooks Tour with chef Anthony Bourdain.

photo by: Johnny Pack