Jazz (2001)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Documentary, History, Music
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.5/10 from 1,155 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 13 critic

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

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video


Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
a list of 42 titles
created 19 Jul 2012
a list of 24 titles
created 13 Oct 2012
a list of 38 titles
created 02 Sep 2013
a list of 59 titles
created 23 Sep 2013

Related Items

Search for "Jazz" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Jazz (2001– )

Jazz (2001– ) on IMDb 8.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Jazz.




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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Civil War (TV Mini-Series 1990)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris
Mark Twain (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A biographical film about the acclaimed American humourist and author.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adam Arkin, John Logan Allen
The Dust Bowl (TV Mini-Series 2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A documentary about the 1930s drought of North American prairie farm land, and its consequences during the great depression.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Donald Worster, Dorothy Williamson
North America (TV Series 2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Sweeping across some of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, North America takes viewers from the silent grandeur of lofty snowcapped peaks to fertile forests and dramatic windswept ... See full summary »

Stars: Tom Selleck, Rutger Hauer, Steve Backshall
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

For 50 years, radio dominated the airwaves as the first mass medium. Ken Burns examines the lives of three men who shared the responsibility for its invention and early success.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Jason Robards, Red Barber, Erik Barnouw
The Address (TV Movie 2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Students of a special boarding school for kids with learning disabilities are challenged to learn about and recite the Gettysburg Address.

Director: Ken Burns
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This documentary chronicles the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The difficult construction process is described in interesting detail; later parts of the film interview ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Paul Roebling, Julie Harris, Arthur Miller
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A biography of the life and work of the American architect.

Directors: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Stars: Edward Herrmann, Philip Bosco, Julie Harris
The West (TV Series 1996)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Philip Bosco, Murphy Guyer
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ken Burns examines the American utopian 19th century religious sect known as the Shakers.

Directors: Ken Burns, Amy Stechler
Stars: David McCullough
Vietnam (TV Series 2016)

An in-depth look at the American military operations in Vietnam during the 1960s and '70s as well as the growing opposition against the war within the United States.



Series cast summary:
 Narrator (10 episodes, 2001)


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Official Sites:





Release Date:

8 January 2001 (USA)  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(10 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Features Check and Double Check (1930) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A flawed and incomplete overview of the greatest American music
19 April 2006 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

When I learned that Ken Burn's "Jazz" was going to be on TV I was very excited; and prepared a bunch of empty tapes to record it. The previews made it seem like the most perfect documentary that I, then a jazz musician in the making, could watch. However, as the series went on, I became supremely disappointed. This series, though most of it was very interesting to me and I learned a lot from it, is seriously flawed in presenting this most American of art forms and leaves me feeling hurt for the great people that the series failed to even mention, while others much less great were somehow squeezed in.

The first few episodes of the series are great, they are superbly done and I enjoyed them throughly. However, passed the bebop era, the series goes rapidly downhill. It skips everything that stems away from the most traditional of jazz, mocks fusion - which is really, like it or not, definitely a big part of jazz and is mostly responsible for it's continued survival, skips all important jazzmen of the 70's and 80's - how could they have done a series about jazz without even a single mention of a giant like Chick Corea is beyond me - and ends on a weird and unclear note, where they present a bunch of unknown young jazz musicians, that are (save for Joshua Redman and Christian McBride) should not have been in the documentary ahead of many giants that were not included. I still have no idea who half of those people are, even after searching for something of theirs. Very fishy.

Herbie Hancock, who is a pillar of Jazz and probably the most important Jazz-man of the last 30 years, was barely mentioned as a part of Miles Davis' group. Fellow pianist and jazz giant Chick Corea, who created an enormous body of work that influences young players all over the world (there is no pianist in jazz today who was not influenced by Corea, whether they know it or not) was not mentioned at all. Also there was no mention of such important players as Jaco Pastorius, who established the electric bass as a serious instrument and transformed modern jazz forever, Michael Brecker, the biggest influence on saxophonists since Wayne Shorter (me among them), Pat Metheny, the guitar giant who managed to turn creative Jazz into a accessible and popular music but without sacrificing it's intensity or complexity..

And here, in the section about "the revival" of Jazz, they show me a bunch of young faces I haven't even heard of, some of whom are frankly just "purists" who are trying to play like the old jazz giants without a hint of originality or message to their music. This is not the future of Jazz as far as I am concerned, and I was insulted for those greats that were not even mentioned when those unknown kids came on the screen.

Not that I'm in any way trying to belittle the colossal contribution of Louis Armstrong (who, by the way, is the reason I became interested in Jazz in the first place), but some of the screen time they gave him could have been used to at least mention many greats that were omitted. Also, I felt that Ken Burns tried very hard to turn the history of Jazz into a documentary about civil rights of blacks in America, and though it is, of course, very relevant to the issue at hand, it was still dealt way too much screen time until in becomes tiring and you find yourself fast-forwarding through those parts to see what actually happens to the musicians themselves.

As far as I am concerned, this is a very lacking production, that starts off great and then completely misleads the viewers that are uneducated in jazz to believe that jazz between the death of John Coltrane and the emergence of Wynton Marsalis did not exist at all. Too bad. In my opinion, the series is - at best - incomplete. It leaves the impression of a documentary about Jazz made by purists for purists, completely disregarding a huge chunk of very important Jazz, and mockingly downplaying it to boot.

5 out of 10, only by virtue of how well it was technically done.

22 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite Jazz Albums mausermike63
Worst exclusion? arik-16
Name that tune, please. wsc3
which disc? kevinpales
Tommy Dorsey mae_32
question xcheshirecatx-1
Discuss Jazz (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: