As cool as cool can be
Not quite a concert film, not quite a travelogue, this "day and night in the life" of the Newport Jazz Festival is a delight. Some standout performances, including an unforgettable rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown by Anita O'Day and a gorgeous set by a beatific Mahalia Jackson would make this film worth watching all on their own. But, there's more. A very young Chuck Berry makes an appearance, and the earliest Rock and Roll seems boring by comparison to the many styles of jazz displayed in this film. Despite the repetitive groove, the folks in the audience can't help moving their feet to it and the future is foretold. Bert Stern deliberately moves the focus away from Berry's stage pyrotechnics and keeps it on the audience and the amused if bored jazz musicians. Did he know this was what the future held? Maybe. Bits and pieces of the lives of affluent Newport residents, a yacht race (America's Cup qualifying), jazz musicians practicing, a break into Bach by a cellist, dancing on the rooftops, all the small parts that make this film greater than their sum, this is one worth watching, and perhaps, like me, you'll find it one worth adding to your permanent library of musical film.
- Feb 3, 2011
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By what name was Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959) officially released in India in English?Answer