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This history of the penetration and adoption of jazz in Europe catches a key moment in the development of this form of art. Little known in Europe before the second world war excepting the avantgarde circles in Berlin and Paris, jazz was brought in Europe as a form of popular musical entertainment by the bands who were playing for the American soldiers. It caught up Europe in a moment of change of direction, with winds of freedom blowing over most of the continent in the vacuum left by years of war. And then an amazing thing happened. Jazz was not only received in Europe and adopted by the European musicians and public but was also adapted and localized in each country. This was following the philosophy of freedom and improvisation that stands at the origins of jazz. The adoption of jazz in Europe represents the moment where jazz becomes from an almost exclusive American form of entertainment a universal art.
I liked the film and I believe that the fundamental ideas of the process were well explained, although I wished there was more music and also a minimal introduction of the different musicians, singers and composers who appeared on screen. It was refreshing to see that Eastern Germany featured in the film, and I regretted to see that the film stopped at the former DDR border, as much more can be said about the impact of jazz in the East European culture during the Communist rule. Maybe this will be the subject of a future film, as interesting as this one, I hope.
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