JAZZ DOCUMENTARIES

Documentary films about jazz music and musicians
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1.
Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer (2007 Documentary)
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A tribute to jazz diva Anita O'Day, completed just weeks before her death in November 2006. (90 mins.)
 
2.
Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got (1985 Documentary)
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Documentary cataloging the life and music of the band leader and clarinetist, Artie Shaw. (114 mins.)
Director: Brigitte Berman
 
3.
Calle 54 (2000 Documentary)
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A film featuring performances of several stars of the Latin Jazz music scene. (105 mins.)
Director: Fernando Trueba
 
4.
Charles Mingus: Triumph of the Underdog (1998 Documentary)
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(78 mins.)
Director: Don McGlynn
 
5.
The Church of Saint Coltrane (1996 Short Film)
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(26 mins.)
Director: Jeff Swimmer
 
6.
The Cole Nobody Knows (2006 Documentary)
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A documentary on Chicago-native Freddy Cole, the lesser-known, yet equally talented younger brother of Nat "King" Cole. (21 mins.)
Director: Clay Walker
 
7.
The Cry of Jazz (1959 Documentary)
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Discussion of jazz and the role of African-Americans in the United States. (34 mins.)
Director: Edward Bland
 
8.
Dave Brubeck: In His Own Sweet Way (2010 Documentary)
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A chronological look at the life and career of jazz musician, composer, and performer Dave Brubeck (1920- )... (85 mins.)
Director: Bruce Ricker
 
9.
A Great Day in Harlem (1994 Documentary)
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Art Kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in NYC in the year 1958... (60 mins.)
Director: Jean Bach
 
10.
Imagine the Sound (1981 Documentary)
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An examination, shown through both interviews and performances, of the avant-garde free jazz movement which reigned during the 1960s. (91 mins.)
Director: Ron Mann
 
11.
Jazz (2001 Mini-Series)
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A survey of the musical form's history and major talents. (114 mins.)
 
13.
Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959 Documentary)
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Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience... (85 mins.)
 
14.
Independent Lens (1999 TV Series)
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An intimate portrait of 76-year-old jazz vocal legend Jimmy Scott. The film explores Scott's odyssey of loss and redemption through reminiscence, song, and lush Japanese travelogue.
 
15.
Let's Get Lost (1988 Documentary)
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Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends... (120 mins.)
Director: Bruce Weber
 
16.
Momma Don't Allow (1956 Documentary)
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A night at the Wood Green Jazz Club - an example of 'Free Cinema' (22 mins.)
 
17.
Return to Gorée (2007 Documentary)
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Because jazz is the miraculous product of the horror of slavery, Youssou N'Dour returned to the slave route and the music they created... (110 mins.)
 
18.
Return to Gorée (2007 Documentary)
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Because jazz is the miraculous product of the horror of slavery, Youssou N'Dour returned to the slave route and the music they created... (110 mins.)
 
19.
The Seven Lively Arts (1957 TV Series)
Episode: The Sound of Jazz (1957)
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(60 mins.)
 
20.
Southern Crossing (1981 TV Movie)
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(92 mins.)
 
21.
Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (1980 Documentary)
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Robert Mugge filmed jazz great Sun Ra on location in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. between 1978 and 1980... (60 mins.)
Director: Robert Mugge
Stars: Sun Ra
 
22.
Satchmo the Great (1957 Documentary)
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In this 1957 biography film of the jazz-great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong, he and his band tour the world... (63 mins.)
 
23.
The Last of the Blue Devils (1979 Documentary)
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During Prohibition, Kansas City was wide open, and jazz was its music. Late in the 1970s, musicians... (90 mins.)
Director: Bruce Ricker
 
24.
Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988 Documentary)
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A documentary film about the life of pianist and jazz great Thelonious Monk. Features live performances by Monk and his band, and interviews with friends and family about the offbeat genius. (90 mins.)
 
25.
Tradition Is a Temple: The Modern Masters of New Orleans (2013 Documentary)
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Tradition is a Temple is a modern look at New Orleans music, drawing upon the city's unique heritage to examine the fragility of tradition. (80 mins.)
Director: Darren Hoffman
 
26.
Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard (2006 Documentary)
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In his first public interview in more than a decade, pop culture icon of the 1970s and 80s, Werner Erhard breaks his long silence about his ideas... (62 mins.)
Director: Robyn Symon
 
27.
Saint John Coltrane (2000 Documentary)
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(26 mins.)