Jazz on a Summer's Day - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Jazz on a Summer's Day Reviews

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March 12, 2015
This is more than just filmed jazz. Instead, Bert Stern has used his photographer's eye and sensibility to create moments of real transcendence and even joy from footage of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Of course, the music itself heightens the ecstatic moments caught on camera, with sounds ranging from the traditional (Louis Armstrong) to something slightly more modern (Chico Hamilton Quintet featuring Eric Dolphy, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Jimmy Giuffre) with Chuck Berry and Mahalia Jackson thrown in for good measure. There is a vibrancy here in the photography (reflections in the water, birds overhead, transfixed or finger-snapping audience members) and in the way the music and the photography come together that makes you want to really look at things in this world and to take out all those old jazz records and put them on. A little bit of social commentary drifts in if you notice the racial dynamics of the event - but things seem so harmonious that suddenly 1958 feels like an idyllic period in history captured perfectly and forever by Stern. Remarkable.
February 25, 2015
Concert film from 1960 showcases several different jazz performances, from unknowns to legends. If you want some smooth jazz, or any kind of jazz you'll find some form of it here, and it is a pretty chill way to spend 90 minutes. It is also a nice time capsule for the Jazz scene at that time.
½ July 26, 2012
not only a great sight and sound fest but a slice os 'mad men' americana
May 16, 2012
Pretty decent. Some of the shots are pretty incredible for a '58 documentary. Could have been filmed today.
December 11, 2011
old timey + fun to watch + row of dudes with watery eyes watching Mahalia Jackson
½ May 15, 2011
As a film, it's not groundbreaking on a technical level. But the music is fabulous.
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2011
There is some amazing stuff here. Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day and Mahalia Jackson stand out.
February 7, 2011
Oh YEAH! Seeing the reactions to Monk, Mahalia, Pops ... classic!
½ May 16, 2010
Delightful as a tall, cool glass of lemonade.
March 31, 2010
What a marvelous piece of filmmaking. A rich assemblage of jazz, fashion, and the good life of 1959. Love, love, love viewing the fashions, and the close-ups of the performers and of course some unbelievable music recordings. Plus the water and sky shots accompanying the music are brilliant. Unbelievable for being a 50 year old film. Historically important and not to be missed by cinematography students.
½ September 19, 2009
Anita O'Day delivers two numbers that are still considered historic for their employment of the "beatnik" sound
August 22, 2009
Join my page here on Flixter and check out my In Tribute to Louis Armstrong CD.
½ July 7, 2009
Best concert film ever. Utterly amazing. See Anita O'Day's set - one of the greatest performances ever captured on film.
½ April 14, 2009
Fantastic seeing a Music Festival before the historic Woodstock.
March 15, 2009
this is a really well-made document of this time: beautiful music (despite the inexplicable inclusion of chuck berry in a film on jazz), absolutely stunningly photographed, very honest. i couldn't help thinking i was at mccarren pool - i have a much better understanding of how this music resonated with its fans then. definitely worth renting, if not solely for the opening titles/first number and anita o'day's performance.
February 28, 2009
I liked the fantastic jazz performances, but equally good were the off performance scenes of people partying and the audience. This film might make a jazz fan out of anyone.
½ November 6, 2008
ein grandioser, mehr impressionistischer als dokumentarischer film ueber das newport jazz festival 1958. grossartige performances, wunderbare bilder. traumhaft schoen.
May 31, 2008
I've enjoyed watching this film (doc) for over the last few years since hearing about it. Great visuals, great musical performances, rent it or buy it like me.
April 19, 2008
Only for people who like jazz. For me, not being that mych of a jazz fan, this collection of performances did not really entertain me that much.
April 1, 2008
very nice! my only regret was that there wasn't more!
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