This is a striking scene from some of the strangest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s gratuitous as hell, but keenly gratuitous, as opposed to some moralistic portrayal of the junkie jazz scene in the 50’s.
Jackie McLean (on sax) Freddie Redd (keys) were cast, and apparently Dexter Gordon played piano in the stage version of The Connection. Here’s the original review from the NYT.
Bonus Dex footage: