'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris (2007)


Critic Consensus: An interesting Jazz documentary portrait piece of one of music's 'almost' men.


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Movie Info

In the 1950s and '60s, Jackie Paris was one of the most celebrated jazz vocalists of his generation; he collaborated with such giants as Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, he was a favorite of leading music critics, and recorded for such top jazz labels as Impulse and East-West. But ten years on, Paris had fallen so far off the radar that a major jazz reference work reported that Paris had died in 1977, even though he was still around and occasionally performing at the time. In the 1990s, filmmaker Raymond De Felitta heard some of Paris' recordings and became an instant fan, and was deeply curious about Paris' life and career, and how an artist with such gifts had become little more than a footnote in music history. De Felitta's search eventually led him to Paris himself, and a fascinating story of bad luck, a wildly dysfunctional family, dangerous pride, a hair-trigger temper, and a remarkable voice that somehow survived it all, even if his career did not. 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris is a documentary which chronicles De Felitta's search for the elusive singer; the film includes interviews with Paris' family, friends, and fans, including Dr. Billy Taylor, Billy Vera, Joe Franklin, Ira Gitler, Harlan Ellison, and James Moody. Frank Whaley, Nick Tosches, and Peter Bogdanovich contribute dramatic readings of reviews of Paris' work from his heyday.


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Critic Reviews for 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (13)

It's a fascinating tale that reveals as much about the cutthroat nature of the music biz as it does about this witty, nostalgia-prone elder statesman.

Nov 21, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

Paris himself is a tight-lipped interviewee of the old school; that all changes the moment he steps on stage, when we see what they have all been talking about.

Nov 21, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It gives us a glimpse back to a time when hepcats were cool and jazz was king, reminding us that the power of great music transcends time, fate, exile and even death.

Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's hard not to be moved by 'Tis Autumn -- The Search for Jackie Paris.

Aug 15, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Part adoring fan letter, part meditation on the elusive nature of fame and success, part investigative piece, 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris is a music documentary of uncommon richness.

Dec 12, 2007

Like the maker of the similar documentary Stone Reader, De Felitta is determined to restore Paris' work to public view. Based on the many delightful samples on the soundtrack, it's an exemplary goal.

Dec 7, 2007 | Rating: 3/4

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