Sunday 21 September 2008

Jazz On A Summer's Day

If there was any question that Bert Stern brought a background of photography to his first feature film, the 1960 documentary "Jazz On A Summer's Day", you just need to watch the first minute or so of the film. The camera lingers on several reflections off the water in Newport Rhode Island as the ripples change the image constantly.

There's some great performances and music in the film accompanied by random images and people from around the area and at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. But it's these opening moments (backed with some spiffy playing by the Jimmy Giuffre 3 doing "The Train And The River") that are staying with me.


James Yates said...

Wow, those are some stunning images. I'm definitely going to check this film out.

My first introduction to the Newport Jazz Festival on film was the 1956 musical "High Society." Sure, there's no real footage of the festival, but it was kind of cool how it was used as a very loose backdrop. Plus, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong's duet on "Now You Has Jazz" is one of my favorite musical moments of all time.

Bob Turnbull said...

Stern also spends a lot of time on people's faces (again, his background is showing). It's a bit odd sometimes as some of the people are obviously grooving to different music.

Haven't seen "High Society". Sounds like I should. Louis' performance in "Jazz On A Summer's Day" is half vocal and half on his horn - I much prefer the latter.

But any song called "Now You Has Jazz" has GOT to be good! B-)

James Yates said...

Hey Bob--

Here's a link to the duet:

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks Jamie...I'm an idiot. I've absolutely seen that before (not the film, but certainly that performance). Louis' band is great.

There was a link from that vid to another one of just Louis and the Hot 7 from 1959 doing that same tune (but all live vocals and instruments):