Jazz (2001)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Documentary | History | Music
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,134 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 13 critic

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

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1  
2001  
Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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 Narrator (10 episodes, 2001)
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Storyline

This series explores the history of the major American musical form. We track its development in African American culture, its rise to prominence with its golden age of popularity spanning from the 1920's to the mid 1940's both in its original form and in Swing through its popular decline and the rise of vital new sub-genres into the present day. Along the way, we learn of the lives and work of major contributors to the form such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie "Bird" Parker and many others who helped form Jazz into the vibrant musical form it is. Moreover, we see how the music reflected the political and social issues of the African American community over the course of the form's history. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

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8 January 2001 (USA)  »

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$13,000,000 (estimated)
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(10 episodes)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Awesome in scope but incomplete
20 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It takes guts and talent to put together an idea like this and execute on it. Producer and director Ken Burns pulled off something we all wanted see in a documentary film. If it weren't for him, we may not have seen the likes of it in our life time. This near 20 hour epic takes Jazz from its roots to its modern day incarnations. I've learned quite a bit about history of jazz by watching this mini series, but I think the story told is little bit lop-sided. What Ken Burns failed (or purposely omitted) was the entire history of jazz guitarists. There's absolutely none represented in this series - zilch (!), and don't tell me that guitar wasn't an important part of jazz history. What Ken told was the story of jazz keyboard, and horn virtuosos. Not bad, but I still wanted to see some guitar in this series.

Martin Scorsese filled some gap with his "Blues" mini-series about blues guitarists, but a comprehensive history of jazz guitar history is still missing. Would some talented and daring director please take on the challenge ?


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