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)
The attitude of the gallant Six Hundred which so aroused Lord Tennyson's admiration arose from the fact that the least disposition to ask the reason why was discouraged by tricing the would-be inquirer to the triangle and flogging him into insensibility.
Advance to Barbarism
(Mitre Press, 1968).
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