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JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY

USA, 1960 (MIFF 1997, All That Jazz)

Director: Bert Stern

Jazz On A Summer's Day is the first and archetyp­al concert film, the progenitor of Woodstock, The T.A.M.I. Show etc. Columbia Records, which at the time (1958) owned most of the great jazz recording artists, hired top international photog­rapher Bert Stern to cover the Newport, Rhode Island Jazz Festival, an annual outdoor event with the America's Cup sailing race going on in the background. What we get is a myth wrapped in a myth; jazz as a community of black and white performers together enfolded in a tradi­tional American small-town community of black and white music lovers paying homage.

The film coincided with and crystallises the cul­tural moment in American life when jazz was given full, comfortable, unthreatening middle-class status: it was OK, coffee-table book, CBS television, certified culture, and Jazz On A Summers Day is the catalogue of its images, its associa­tions. and, by omission, all those things we don't want it to be. Hailed at the time for finding colours and images to match jazz sounds, MIFF is proud to present a newly struck colour print fea­turing, in their prime, Louis Armstong, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, Jack Teagarden, Jimmy Guiffre, Chuck Berry, George Shearing, Sonny Stitt, Gerry Mulligan, Thelonious Monk, Big Maybelle, Chico Hamilton, and many more.

See also...

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