Folk - Showbiz - Art
In the 70 years it's been around, jazz has been all three. It grew out of the New Orleans community, became an entertainment commodity and finally produced an uncompromising avant-garde.
From time to time cameras have been on hand for a moment of jazz history: in 1929, for example, when Duke Ellington's band was supplying 'jungle music' at the Cotton Club, and in 1932, when Louis Armstrong dressed up and gave an astonishing performance. A 1948 film promoted the Dizzy Gillespie big band, and the legendary Charlie Parker made one brief appearance on celluloid.
These and other historic examples have been combined with new material to trace the rapid evolution of jazz and sketch in the social background.
Commentary spoken by Alan Dobie
"Bouncy, beaty, biting way to tell history" (Daily Mirror)
"A splendidly researched and composed essay" (Listener)
"The best documentary on jazz ever screened" (Melody Maker)
"A brilliant documentary film by any standard" (Sunday Telegraph)
Written by Charles Fox, Geoffrey Haydon
(This Week's Sounds: page 11)