'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris (2006) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • "'Tis Autumn: The Search For Jackie Paris" is a feature documentary about a great but unheralded jazz singer that explores the very nature of what it is to live the life of an artist--any artist. Filmmaker Raymond De Felitta examines the life of cult favorite jazz singer Jackie Paris, but at the same time he might well be exploring the life of any artist in any discipline, too many of whom share the same fate that Paris did: the explosive debut followed by the years of ups and downs; the constant hope that success, though out of reach, is around the corner; the private tragedies that grow out of artistic frustration; and the final, self-inflicted wounds which all too often cause the once promising to descend into bitterness and chaos, a prelude to vanishing completely. Working with rare found footage and new interviews with jazz legends such as Billy Taylor, George Wein, Mark Murphy and Ruth Price, as well as the final concert footage and last interviews Jackie Paris ever gave -- De Felitta constructs an emotional mystery story which asks the question: who or what is to blame when a great talent goes from sensation to footnote during their life span?

  • In 1991, the director, Raymond De Felitta was listening to a Jazz station and heard a singer by the name of Jackie Paris. Entranced by his style and technique, De Felitta began researching Paris; he learned Paris had opened for Lenny Bruce, was a favorite among Ella Fitzgerald, Nat Cole and Sara Vaughn. However his research abruptly ended when he read in The Biographical Dictionary of American Music, that Paris died in 1977. De Felitta thought that was the end of the story but one night in March of 2004, he was reading the New Yorker magazine and saw an advertisement listing Paris' comeback at the Jazz Standard. Stunned, he wondered where had Paris been all these years, what had come of his life and why had a singer of this talent fallen into such obscurity?

  • An exploration into the mysterious life of the late jazz vocalist Jackie Paris, which examines the question of how much we need to know about an artist's life to appreciate their art.


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