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"Jazz" (2001) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 2001-

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


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Release Date:
8 January 2001 (USA) See more »
A survey of the musical form's history and major talents. Full summary »
Nominated for 5 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A flawed and incomplete overview of the greatest American music See more (25 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 6)

Keith David ... Narrator (10 episodes, 2001)

Series Directed by
Ken Burns (10 episodes, 2001)
Series Produced by
Sarah Botstein .... associate producer (10 episodes, 2001)
Series Film Editing by
Sandra Marie Christie (2 episodes, 2001)
Lewis Erskine (2 episodes, 2001)
Erik Ewers (2 episodes, 2001)
Sarah E. Hill (2 episodes, 2001)

Tricia Reidy (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Dan Korintus .... sound editor (10 episodes, 2001)

Mark Roy .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Ira Spiegel .... supervising sound editor (unknown episodes)
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer (unknown episodes)
John Zecca .... sound recordist (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Tim Clark .... assistant editor (10 episodes, 2001)
Barnard Jaffier .... assistant editor / associate editor (10 episodes, 2001)
Josh LeBlanc .... apprentice editor (10 episodes, 2001)
Joe Salleres .... on-line editor (10 episodes, 2001)
JP Sarro .... editorial intern (7 episodes, 2001)
Dave Mast .... first assistant editor (2 episodes, 2001)
Series Other crew
Jeff Daniels .... researcher (10 episodes, 2001)
Peter Condon .... intern (2 episodes, 2001)

Rebecca Bregman .... researcher (unknown episodes, 1997)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

114 min (10 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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22 out of 33 people found the following review useful.
A flawed and incomplete overview of the greatest American music, 19 April 2006
Author: jay_zhead from Israel

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.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for "Jazz" (2001)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Episode 10 - Dexter Gordon intro? apkorvin
jobs in those days mrceci
Worst exclusion? arik-16
Armstrong piece at the begining of Part 4 erjohns77
Tommy Dorsey mae_32
the 'complete' history of jazz? bluemilkbluemilk
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