Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recommended Reading: Jazz Films


Jonathan Rosenbaum has published three of his “jazz on film” pieces on his website. Those are essential films, two of them with the rare footages of jazz giants in their prime time (Fats Waller and Duke Ellington) and one, an underrated Robert Altman’s documentary-like remembrance of Kansas City jam sessions of 1930s. Though it’s more a cinematic description of those films, it would be a great piece for jazz fans to read, too. I think among all critics, Jonathan’s view of this kind of films would be something unique because after all he is a jazz fan and as long as I know a man of keyboards.

As a matter of fact I was working on these very titles myself for my jazz films project, which I started to publish part of this lengthy research on May 2002. It was printed in Film magazine, and was composed of a long essay and filmographies under the title, “From Mozart to Morrison”. Three years later a sequel, this time with more focus on documentary and Rock ‘n’ Roll, appeared on Film again. And now it has been extended to the format of a book.

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