Pick of the Day: Mo' Better Blues

Mo' Better Blues 2

With blues as one of its themes, Radcliffe Bailey’s retrospective sets the tone for the McNay’s “Memory as Medicine” film series. In Mo’ Better Blues, Spike Lee opens up Beneath the Underground, a Manhattan nightclub where the Bleek Quintet casts a jazzy spell with music by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Bill Lee (the director’s father). Despite its gambling-addicted manager, self-absorbed trumpeter, and upstaging saxophonist, the band packs the house. But Mo’ Better Blues is as much about the unwise decisions of bandleader Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) — including gifting both his girlfriends identical red dresses — as it is music. While Siskel and Ebert gave the 1990 film two thumbs up, B’nai B’rith scolded Lee for dredging up a “highly dangerous form of anti-Semitic stereotyping” via club owners Moe and Josh Flatbush. $5-$8; 2pm Sun, Aug 5; McNay Art Museum, 6000 N New Braunfels, (210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org. Check out our full online calendar of upcoming events here: calendar.sacurrent.com.

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