2020 Album Draft- Round 13 Pick 10- Film- Cincinnati Babyhead selects- Ken Burns Jazz.
Being a music/film lover I have watched so many good ones. So what do I choose? ‘The Last Waltz’ and ‘The Kids Are All Right’ are the two I have watched the most. They could have easily been taken to the island but when it comes down to it one film just kept rising to the top. ‘Jazz’
It’s close to twenty hours long and could have been twice that length with the vast amount of music and characters jazz encompasses. I’ll keep this real short. Ken Burns takes us from the beginnings, New Orleans jazz, Dixieland, into swing, big band, Bebop, Avant- garde free jazz, fusion. There are contributions by the people who made the music (Like Winton Marsalis), played it, wrote about it, danced to it, listened to it etc. Keith David has the perfect voice to narrate this story.
This isn’ just a music lesson, it’s a history lesson of a piece of America. Race, cultures, drug abuse, love and a whole lot more. Even if you don’t dig the music you will find the story fascinating. Burns touches on as many of the genres and musicians as he can. The men and woman who made and played this music. Throughout the film Burns keeps us updated on Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington’s journeys. You feel that you really get to know a big piece of these men and what they went through and what they were about. Their impact on the music and culture cannot be underestimated. I cried twice in the film, actually three times. When Billie Holiday, Louis and Duke left us. I still get moved thinking about it.
Throw whatever preconceptions you have about jazz music out and enjoy a great story that celebrates so much about us as people. Something for everyone in this film. Stay cool.
The trailer below will sell it to you.