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Although the size of the Library of Congress’ Jazz on Film series has shrunk, its quality has not. Curator Larry Appelbaum has put together four nights of new or rare documentaries and television programs from around the jazz world. Opening the series on Wednesday, Sept. 9, is what composer-scholar Gunther Schuller calls “the best film in jazz in 40 years—since Jazz on a Summer’s Day.” Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog is an unflinching look at the passions and demons that drove the composer-bassist (pictured) to be both one of the most accomplished and feared musicians in jazz. Special guests include director Don McGlynn and producer Sue Mingus, Charles’ second wife. On Wednesday, Sept. 16, three episodes of the acclaimed 1981 television series Women in Jazz (“From Bessie to Billie,” “Scatting,” and “Breaking Through”) will be introduced by the programs’ producer-director Burrill Crohn. The following Wednesday, Sept. 23 it’s TV time again with the mid-’60s BBC performance series Jazz 625. See how Willie “The Lion” Smith, Wes Montgomery, and Art Blakey made “Swinging London” really swing. Closing Jazz on Film on Monday, Sept. 28, is Visions: The 1997 Vision Festival, a documentary by Susan Littenberg that documents the annual New York City new music festival, featuring performances and interviews with William Parker and his Little Huey Orchestra, Other Dimensions in Music, and poet Amiri Baraka, among others. All shows are at 7 p.m. in the 64-seat Mary Pickford Theater in the Library of Congress’ Madison Building, 1st & Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-1848. (Christopher Porter)