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JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Documentary of the 1958 Newport Jazz festival.

Review by Richard Kuipers:
I'm not a jazz fan yet I was mesmerised by 'Jazz on a Summer's Day'. Mesmerised by magnificent music and astounding photography capturing this seminal music event. Gloriously filmed on colour-saturated Kodachrome stock, 'Jazz on a Summer's Day' is the only feature film directed by famed photographer Bert Stern. His name is a worthy addition to the pantheon of directors - Charles Laughton (Night of the Hunter) and Leonard Kastle (The Honeymoon Killers)included - whose single foray in the field counts as a classic. Apart from superb performances, Stern and fellow camera operators Ray Phelan and Courtney Hafela cast their lenses over an America in transition. No voice-over is required as images of beatniks in pork-pie hats and stove-pipe pants illustrate the changing social landscape.

This is America grooving out of fabulous 50's post-war perfection into the more dangerous and exciting rhythms of rock'n'roll, bongo beats and poetry readings in coffee shops. Chuck Berry's presence confirms the crossover connection. - rock'n'roll's most sexual practitioner turned up at Newport because he knew something important was happening and wanted to be part of it. He and the rest of the stellar line-up deliver 85 minutes of musical magic in a concert film equalled perhaps by Woodstock (1969), The Last Waltz (1976) and Stop Making Sense (1984) but never surpassed. Pick your own highlights but for my money Mahalia Jackson's gospel finale is hard to beat. Additions on this disc include information on each of the performers and an interactive essay on the work of Bert Stern whose amazing body of work includes the famous poster shot of Sue Lyon and heart shaped sunglasses from Kubrick's 'Lolita'. Wonderful as a DVD or even a CD if you just want to hear the music, this is an absolute must for jazz buffs and highly recommended for everyone else.

Published February 21, 2002



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You can buy it HERE - next day delivery within Australia

JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY (G)
U.S. (1959)

CAST: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry, Anita O'Day, Thelonius
Monk, Dinah Washington, Jimmy Guiffre, Sonny Stitt, George Shearing, Gerry
Mulligan, Big Maybelle, Chico Hamilton,

DIRECTOR: Bert Stern
RUNNING TIME: 85min

SPECIAL FEATURES: 'A Summer's Day' - interctive short film featuring director
Bert Stern. Language: English. Subtitles: None.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella Entertainment/The AV Channel
DVD RELEASE: December 2001







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