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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem of a film
The greatest jazz film of all time. 1958 was a turning point in modern music and this film encapsulates the transition between the traditional and the modern. The Newport Jazz festival has been going now for 50 years but at no other festival was such a diversified line up of artists assembled. From Louis Armstrong to Chuck Berry, Anita O'Day to Theolonius Monk, this is...
Published on 29 July 2004 by David A Potter

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a concert documentary ...but a wonderful film by a brilliant photographer
Film: 8,5/10
DVD (Charly release; ASIN: B00005NX0L): 6/10
Picture quality: 6,5/10
Sound: 6/10; mono
Aspect ratio: 1,33:1 (orig.)
Audio: GB
Run time: 85'
Bonus:
- documentary/making-of
- Audio CD

Great film capturing the artists, jazz music, vibes and audience of 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. To my knowledge the first...
Published 8 months ago by mickey_one


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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem of a film, 29 July 2004
By 
David A Potter (Chester, United Kingdom United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
The greatest jazz film of all time. 1958 was a turning point in modern music and this film encapsulates the transition between the traditional and the modern. The Newport Jazz festival has been going now for 50 years but at no other festival was such a diversified line up of artists assembled. From Louis Armstrong to Chuck Berry, Anita O'Day to Theolonius Monk, this is a concert to savour. Shot by a fashion photographer and linked with stunning passages featuring the 1958 America's cup, this is more than a concert film. It is a study of 1950's America having a great time on a summer's day. Buy it.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A day not to be missed., 8 July 2004
By 
S. C. Comfort "simcomfort" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
I was 16 and in Missouri when this movie was made and when I saw the film, it just told me that there was a great wide world out there and I wanted to get to it fast. I spent years and years trying to find a record of Jazz on a Summers Day, but nothing appeared. Copyright problems I was told. Well, there is no problem now! I can put the DVD on my computer and just listen to the magic of the day or sit and watch. The movie and music capture an America long gone, and I miss that. But at least the DVD gives me that day when the sun shone and the music was HOT.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectactular visuals & music., 5 Feb 2002
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
From the opening sequence of the river traffic reflected in the moving water, the visuals throughout are spectacular; & as artistic & colourful as the music captured. I became a fan of Anita O`Day & the Gerry Mulligan Quartet as a result of seeing this film.
Its a time capsule of late 50`s American style.
The section of a Bach Cello Suite played on Double Bass in the darkened room has the sound & visuals absolutely enhancing each other with the vivid shaft of light showing only portions of instrument & player (& his pipe smoke) thoughout.
The shape of the future is hinted at in an early Chuck Berry performance near the end.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like 50's Jazz, this defines it in toe tapping style, 14 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
When I first saw this, more than 10 years ago, I remember being transfixed.
Although the cinematography could be said to now show it's age, it beautifully conveys a feeling of the time. The warmth, brilliance, genius, sense of fun and in retrospect naiveté of a bygone era.
My personal favorite has to be Mahalia Jackson, as there is so little footage of her around.
To sum up though, I would defy anybody to watch this and not come away with some positive feeling that they would wish to keep with them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 16 Nov 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Middlesex, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
In my opinion, this is the perfect movie. The photography is amazing thanks to Bert Stern being a stills man first of all, and a film maker second. His work shows the best of both worlds. The music is so fantastic that the audience actually listens to it!!!! A bit of a novelty nowadays. Mind you, I'm still wondering what Chuck Berry was doing there. Still he was fun!
I can't work out whether Mahalia Jackson or Chico Hamilton stole the show, but you could literally hear a pin drop during their performances, the audience was so entranced. I would put them equal first.
Watch it, listen to it, and make up your own mind. If you like wonderful music played with skill, love and talent, this is the DVD for you
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolutely marvelous, 11 Jun 2008
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
First of all, let me tell you how thrilled I am by this DVD
- it has amazing musical moment with, for instance, Thelonious Monk, Anita O'Day, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington and Louis Armstrong shining very brightly (although, yes, the Monk number is marred by some mood shots and other interventions...), Satchmo and Teagarden crooning and scatting magnificently... Actually, I don't think I've seen a more beautiful footage of Armstrong's performance; he was still on the top in the 50s and Bert Stern portraits him beautifully, with some fortunatelly stylized stage lighting.

And it goes beyond music; check out the glamour of O'Day's attire, the moment very spirited Dinah Washington grabs the battons and joins Terry Gibbs on the vibes, the look on great Jo Jones' face while he supports Chuck Berry or, for that matter, the bizarre clarinet spot on that number - someone said it's Peanuts Hacko (who is too caucasian, as you can see on Armstrong's numbers on some other DVD's), others mention Rudy Rutheford - I don't know how he looked like (I do know he played in Count Basie orchestra back in 40s or something like that, so I guess he might be African American)...

I would agree with those who say that cool jazz numbers don't fare here as well as the traditional jazz, blues, gospel, mainstream and some modern ( Thelonious Monk!) numbers, even with the annoying break in the middle of the Sonny Stitt-Sal Salvador performance.

The breaks in the performance grow rarer as the film reaches the end, so there is place for true climax and musical as well as cinemathic catharsis in the end. But, from strictly cinematic point of view, I must add that there are some really fine shots; even the notoriously disinterested lady eating ice-cream looks interesting - it probably is a picture of the festival culture in the 50s, as is the attempt to connect it with the entertainment and leisure industry in general....

All in all, this is a unique jazz experience (and an interesting although not perfect film), recommended (or, should I say indispensable) to all serious jazz fans and interested beginners.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz On A Summer's Day, 19 July 2011
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
My wife and I saw this film before we were married in 1962 and it gave us a love of jazz which has lasted through the years. The fact that it is not like other videos of music festivals, showing scenes other than just the musicians playing, gives it a unique flavour.
Some of the shots have stayed in our memory quite vividly, the cellist rehearsing and smoking a cigarette, the girl in the sunglasses he keeps finding in the crowd, all the time the music playing.
There are some memorable performances as well, Chuck Berry didn't stand out as unusual in a jazz concert because he lit up the stage. Louis Armstrong, well, what can you say, absolute master of his craft but to us, how can you forget Mahalia Jackson singing The Lord's Prayer.
A film for music lovers, where the technique of the hand held camera is being used to great effect, an effect being copied by the modern movie maker.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz at its best, 13 May 2011
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
I first saw Jazz on a summer's day the year it was produced and the image of Anita O'Day flirting with the microphone, in her wide-brimmed hat, has stayed with me since then. When I bought the DVD a few weeks ago everything came back: the America's Cup boat out in the waters of Newport, Rhode Island, Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet and singing in his rough voice, Mahalia Jackson's unbelievable timing etc.
I don't think a better jazz film has ever been produced. And partly thanks to the camera of Bert Stern, who could find the essence of the artists.
Really a great experience!
Mauri Salo
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a concert documentary ...but a wonderful film by a brilliant photographer, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
Film: 8,5/10
DVD (Charly release; ASIN: B00005NX0L): 6/10
Picture quality: 6,5/10
Sound: 6/10; mono
Aspect ratio: 1,33:1 (orig.)
Audio: GB
Run time: 85'
Bonus:
- documentary/making-of
- Audio CD

Great film capturing the artists, jazz music, vibes and audience of 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. To my knowledge the first and only feature film by photo legend Bert Stern.
DVD shows soft image with washed-out colors. Recommended film, but maybe it deserves a decent Blu-ray release? This particular DVD edition, although incl. a soundtrack CD, leaves quite a bit to be desired...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summer Sunshine, 11 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] (DVD)
There have been few films about jazz as evocative as this one. Bert Stern brought to this, his first documentary, his remarkable photographer's 'eye' and a wonderful feel for his subject.

With a cast that includes Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Stitt, Chico Hamilton, Mahalia jackson, George Shearing and a young Chuck Berry - well, how can you go wrong!

It was shot over a few days in Newport and Stern inter-cuts his coverage of the jazz sets with beautiful footage of sea, sand, sails and water during the Newport regatta. He also grabs actuality of the crowds enjoying the music or simply soaking up the sun. For its time, this 'cinema verite' approach was fresh and original and set the standard or many documentaries that followed.

If you love fine jazz (both modern and traditional) and fancy a sunny weekend break, then buy this DVD immediately.
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Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC]
Jazz On A Summer's Day [DVD] [NTSC] by Bert Stern (DVD - 2001)
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