8.0/10
113
3 user 2 critic

Chops (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 30 April 2007 (USA)
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Each year, Jazz at Lincoln Center and its artistic director Wynton Marsalis host the Essentially Ellington Festival, a competition of high school jazz bands from across the country. Bruce ... See full summary »

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Each year, Jazz at Lincoln Center and its artistic director Wynton Marsalis host the Essentially Ellington Festival, a competition of high school jazz bands from across the country. Bruce Broder's documentary focuses on one Florida band's experience at the festival. Written by Anonymous

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Documentary | Music

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Not Rated
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30 April 2007 (USA)  »

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Great high school jazz!
17 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

CHOPS was an incredibly enjoyable film. As a former HS teacher (not music) it was a reminder of how enthusiastic and pleasurable working the students can be. Focusing primarily on one Florida HS jazz band's preparation for competing against other schools at Lincoln Center, it allows you to get to know the primary musicians and their backgrounds. There are brief segments featuring 2 bands from Seattle getting ready for the same competition.

Especially satisfying was jazz legend Ron Carter's visit to the Florida school for a master class. It was hilarious to watch these likable, eager kids, probably assuming they were pretty cool musicians, quickly realize that Mr. Carter wrote the book on cool. The students were coaxed out of their typically teenage passivity and reserve by the teasing, demonstrative motivations of their visiting teacher. Along with the hard work and encouragement of their regular teacher, it almost made me want to be back in the classroom! The students' enjoyment of their New York experience and the performances during the actual competition were a great end to a great film.


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