JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY (1960) [Feature]

USA (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.

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