Jul 28, 2020 9:00 AM
Redman, Blade, Mehldau, McBride Defy Notions Of The Genre
Twenty-six years ago, a new quartet led by a rising star in the jazz world demonstrated how the music could be…
The people have spoken, and they want more movie recommendations.
If you’ve managed to watch the 20 previous film recommendations we’ve made (you can find them here and here), start on the selections below, which include an imagined history of Buddy Bolden and Kirk Douglas portraying the doomed Bix Beiderbecke. DB
None other than Clint Eastwood directed this film about Charlie Parker, who’s portrayed by the inimitable Forest Whitaker.
Dan Pritzker, a musician and filmmaker, enlisted Wynton Marsalis as composer, performer and executive producer for this feature film that imagines Buddy Bolden’s life and times.
The Girls in the Band (Google Play)
This 2011 documentary explores the contributions made to jazz by performers who were members of all-women bands during the 1930s and 1940s, and follows the music forward as performers pushed back against marginalization and discrimination.
Jazz On A Summer’s Day (iTunes)
Everyone from Mahalia Jackson to Jimmy Giuffre, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan and Chuck Berry make an appearance in this 1958 Newport Jazz Festival concert film.
Kansas City (Amazon)
The Robert Altman film recreates the jazz scene of the 1930s, and does so with stellar musical performances by James Carter, Joshua Redman, David Murray, Russell Malone, Craig Handy and Kevin Mahogany. Star turns by Harry Belafonte, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Steve Buscemi.
Keep On Keepin’ On (Google Play)
Let’s Get Lost (Amazon)
Photographer and director Bruce Weber turns in a documentary that traces the stormy life of Chet Baker. Tune in for an appearance by a young Flea.
Straight No Chaser (iTunes)
Produced by Clint Eastwood’s company, this Thelonious Monk documentary includes vintage footage, as well as interviews with saxophonist Charlie Rouse and drummer T.S. Monk.
Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise (Snag Films)
Travel the spaceways with a visionary composer and bandleader in this 1980 film that splices together performances from several gigs with candid interviews.
This 2014 feature depicts the tempestuous relationship between a drum student and his teacher.
Young Man With A Horn (Amazon)
Largely overlooked today, cornetist Bix Beiderbecke was fictionalized in a 1938 Dorothy Baker novel that later was turned into this film starring Kirk Douglas and Lauren Bacall.
Updated April 20.
Jul 28, 2020 9:00 AM
Sep 1, 2020 10:00 AM
Saxophonist Mark Colby died Aug. 31 from complications related to cancer, according to an email sent to DownBeat from…
Jul 22, 2020 9:00 AM
Kurt Rosenwinkel was three dates into an eight-city tour of Sweden in mid-March. Asked where, exactly, he could only…
Sep 8, 2020 11:34 AM
Fort Adams State Park—traditionally home to the Newport Jazz Festival—was uncharacteristically quiet the first week…
Aug 14, 2020 8:01 AM
With touring on hold due to the pandemic, multi-instrumentalist and jazz organ icon Joey DeFrancesco has been staying…