Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational ... See full summary »
Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational music to Gospel. It's a concert film that suggests peace and leisure, jazz at a particular time and place. Written by
Features one of the rare film appearances of two of the greatest jazz artists of all times: New Orleans-born trumpeter Louis Armstrong and Texas-born trombonist Jack Teagarden. When Armstrong formed his six-piece All Stars in 1946 Jack, who was white, was asked to join. The obvious affection these two great performers felt for each other's singing, clowning and playing is particularly evident in their classic performance of "Old Rocking Chair." After Armstrong was invited to return his home town after many years away, he insisted Teagarden join him on the stage. The city refused to let a white man and a Negro play together. Armstrong eventually returned to his native New Orleans, and performed at the very first New Orleans Jazz Festival. Coincidentally, along with Mahalia Jackson- his costar in this film. See more »
This is a wonderful document of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and archetype for the concert film, with captivating interludes of visual poetry. As close as one can get to traveling back through time, watching the audience is as much fun here as watching the performers. You can recognize this film as a source of inspiration, perhaps, for the pretensions behind projects like "The Last Waltz," and one certainly gets a sense, given the caliber of the performers gathered onto a single stage, of the magnitude of this event without it ever being forced. The intimacy remains intact. And in contrast with the somber beat of "The Last Waltz," the sun shines on everything here. A joy.
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