Produced by

Kareem, Jazz and Basketball

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The new documentary “On the Shoulders of Giants” tells the story of the Harlem Rens, an all-black basketball team that played in New York at the height of the Harlem Renaissance cultural explosion. Guest host (and secret sports blogger) Christian McBride talks with two people behind the film, NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and composer Bill Cunliffe, about overlap between two golden eras of sports and the arts.

Courtesy of “On the Shoulders of Giants”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. Cornel West

From the film "On the Shoulders of Giants," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dr. Cornel West standing in front of the 145th St. subway station in Harlem.

Courtesy of “On the Shoulders of Giants”
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamie Foxx

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with film narrator Jamie Foxx.

Courtesy of “On the Shoulders of Giants”
Team photo of the Harlem Rens.
Courtesy of “On the Shoulders of Giants”
The Harlem Rens in action.
Courtesy of “On the Shoulders of Giants”
The Harlem Rens spending time together off the court.


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Cunliffe

Hosted by:

Christian McBride

Comments [6]

Kazuko Ono from New York

The interview and obvious research and depth of knowledge ChristianMcBride shares with all of us bring a richness beyond any singular scope. The combination of historic research, present day opinions and shared experience throughout the interviews were fascinating. But the actual musical improvisation was sheer encouragement! Hearing words with respect to Jaco brought warm memories. We sat late into the wee hours after a gig w/ Gil Evans as Jaco, Shunzo (Ohno) and Gil exchanged ideas for hours. Linking Basketball heroes, Music and American History is where our education should be!

Thank you Christian McBride for your work on air with SoundCheck!
....Another American hero, James Brown!


Mar. 15 2012 02:18 PM
Jackie from Northern California

When Christian asked Bill which NBA player he thought would be the best jazz musician, I wanted to remind him of Wayman Tisdale. Very interesting interviews.

Mar. 14 2012 11:32 PM
Dr. Wayne Johnson from Bk

Christian is a terrific host who did an excellent job interviewing and choosing his most interesting and talented guests.

Mar. 14 2012 03:09 PM
CL from NYC

Kareem's scholarship is vital to understanding pre-NBA professional basketball. My uncle (still living) was a member-- one of the few non-Jewish members, by the way-- of the Philadelphia Sphas in the early 1950s. He has an enormous trove of stories from those years, including traveling with the great Globetrotters teams to play far and wide. Kareem's historical work brings back a lot of memories of my uncle's own history. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a national treasure, an extraordinary American.

Mar. 14 2012 02:20 PM

Kareem! A basketball documentary! I really love listening to this show, "Sports Check"

Mar. 14 2012 01:59 PM

always love to hear kareem. always interesting and insightful.

Mar. 14 2012 01:47 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.