Jazz (2001)
7.5/10
43
1 user 1 critic

Risk: 1945-1955 

The postwar years bring prosperity, but the Cold War threat makes these anxious years as well. In jazz, this underlying tension will be reflected in bebop, and in the troubled life of it's ... See full summary »

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The postwar years bring prosperity, but the Cold War threat makes these anxious years as well. In jazz, this underlying tension will be reflected in bebop, and in the troubled life of it's biggest star, Charlie Parker. Dizzy Gillespie, tries to popularize the new sound by adding showmanship and Latin rhythms, while pianist Thelonius Monk infuses it with his eccentric personality to create a music all his own. Dave Brubeck mixes jazz with classical music to produce a million-seller LP. But one man remains determined to give jazz popular appeal on his own terms, the trumpet player Miles Davis. Written by Anonymous

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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24 January 2001 (USA)  »

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The rise of demons in jazz.
28 February 2015 | by See all my reviews

This installment of "Jazz" concerns the post-war jazz period. Most of the show seems to always work its way back to Charlie Parker and his influence. The show starts with him and throughout the entire show you keep learning about him--though he only lived to 34. Additionally, the show seemed to focus a lot on his legacy--a legacy of self- destruction with quite a few insane musicians taking Parker's lead as they began taking heroin en masse! Quite a few died or had their careers impacted (such as Miles Davis) because of this.

In addition to this, the show focuses on Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck (who seemed amazingly normal), Louis Armstrong (who inexplicably has been in every episode), beatniks, Louis Jordan, Ella Fitzgerald. Oddly, although swing/big band music had been huge in the last three episodes, it was barely mentioned in this episode. Was it dead or was it still popular?

This is a great episode if you love modern jazz. If you find the music discordant, then it and the music are a bit less satisfying. Worth seeing but it felt like too much energy was spent on Parker. An important figure in music but a man come and gone so quickly I cannot imagine him being THE force in jazz during this period-- especially since he was so incapacitated by his drug use during much of this time.


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