Sunday, March 21, 2010

Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960)

Hailed by critics to be the best jazz film ever, famous photographer's Bert Stern's Jazz On A Summer's Day lives up to its reputation today.

Shot in Newport, RI during the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and the America's Cup trials of the same year, initially intended as a full length motion picture, it was downsized to a concert documentary due to lack of funds. We have to thank our good luck for this, as this film broke new ground on how a live music performance should be captured. It literally wrote the book.

Shot in lush color instead of the grim black and white used until then, including scenes in broad daylight, interleaving performances with the sailing races going on simultaneously, it made people look at jazz from an entirely different perspective.

This was half a century ago and it really shows. People hit it off very differently back then, as the amazing crowd scenes attest to. With rock 'n roll just around the corner ready to take the popular music scene by storm, these were merrier, more innocent times.

Cast (in credits order)

Jimmy Giuffre ... Himself
Thelonious Monk ... Himself
Henry Grimes ... Himself
Sonny Stitt ... Himself
Sal Salvador ... Himself
Anita O'Day ... Herself
George Shearing ... Himself
Dinah Washington ... Herself
Gerry Mulligan ... Himself
Big Maybelle ... Herself
Chuck Berry ... Himself
Chico Hamilton ... Himself

Louis Armstrong ... Himself
Jack Teagarden ... Himself
Mahalia Jackson ... Herself

rest of cast (listed alphabetically):

David Baily ... Himself
Danny Barcelona ... Himself
Bob Brookmeyer ... Himself
Buck Clayton ... Himself
Willis Conover ... Interviewer
Gergory Corso ... Himself
Bill Crow ... Himself
Eric Dolphy ... Himself
Eli's Chosen Six ... Themselves
Art Farmer ... Himself
Harold Gaylon ... Himself
Nathan Gershman ... Himself
Terry Gibbs ... Himself
Urbie Green ... Himself
Jim Hall ... Himself
Peanuts Hucko ... Himself
Jo Jones ... Himself
Ray Mosca ... Himself
Armando Peraza ... Himself
Max Roach ... Himself
Rudy Rutherford ... Himself
Martin Williams ... Jazz Critic in Audience
Patricia Bosworth... Disgruntled redhead in audience (uncredited)


d3lta said...

DVDRip | DivX | 544x400 | 23.976 | MP3 128 Kbps | English | 813 MB (3% recov.) | 1:21:32

pass: b3bop

Wallofsound said...

Many thanks for this. It is a fascinating film. It certainly changed the way that jazz was presented, but not necessarily for the better.

d3lta said...

@Wallofsound, I agree that the way for jazz as an artistic movement was downhill after the late '50s, but what does this film got to do with it?

Scoredaddy said...

I've always wanted to see this,. Thanks

gnik said...

Το έχω απο την εποχή του stage6
όπως και άλλα δικά σου
Πάντα καλά να είσαι D.

Anonymous said...

A very generous posting, much appreciated. Beaucoup thanx & best wishes from Bangkok.

Miz J said...

a wonderful film and as you say,a more innocent time.I can't see how it shows Jazz in a bad way...

Nando said...

Well, well, well... soooooooooo many thanks for this! see this gods of the jazz is awesome, and the people, and the environment (excuse my english)!!! Thanks again.

Orbyt said...

Probably seen all the individual segments, but never the full film. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

What a good film - so atmospheric and evocative of possibly the greatest era in jazz. Many thanks indeed

GIBSON L5 ( RAZ ) said...


Ermanno said...

Good music e good days!
Many thanks!

**β i Я_tual...! said...

thank u so much!!


Luro said...

Better later than never. Thank you very much for this document.

zardoz1984 said...

Many many thx for this great one!
Hope someday we'll be treated with the rushes in their whole length: judging by the appetizers we get here, they must be gorgeous…

Anonymous said...

I lost my VHS copy of this show years ago. Thanks so much!

pahprint said...

Someone had a conversation with me earlier today when I mentioned the fact that I had acquired a good copy of this fine film. The whole issue of the undercurrents and whether there were any and whether people are just naive, or stupid, or both nowadays came up.

I paraphrase my response for possible reasons for the undercurrents:
"What do you mean you don't see a problem with inviting all those musicians to play next door to yacht clubs in a town full of wealthy white folks where the musicians can't stay in any of the hotels?"

If you happen to d/l and watch WattStax right after this film it becomes MUCH clearer in a hurry.

d3lta said...

@pahprint your point being?

J. D. King said...

LOVE, LOVE, L-O-V-E that movie!!!

duck said...

appreciate this, many thanks, saw it years ago, it's time to get thrilled again