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  1. #1

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    Just a thread for making a census about jazz movies.

    • The Jazz Singer - 1927 - by Alan Crosland - with Al Jolson #1
    • Minnie the Moocher - 1932 - by Dave Fleischer - with Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra #6
    • Swing! - 1938 - by Oscar Micheaux #23
    • Hellzapoppin' - 1941 - H.C. Potter - Featured Frankie Manning and Whitie's Lindy Hoppers #6
    • Reet, Petite and Gone -1947 - by William Forest Crouch - with Louis Jordan #23
    • Pete Kelly's blues - 1955 - by Jack Webb - with Avec Jack Webb, Janet Leigh #8
    • The Man with the Golden Arm - 1955 - by Otto Preminger - with Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak #14
    • The Benny Goodman Story - 1956 - by Valentine Davies - w/ Steve Allen #25
    • Five Pennies - 1959 - by Melville Shavelson - starring Danny Kayle #35
    • Jazz on a Summer's Day - 1959 - by Bert Stern - with Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Gerry Mulligan, and more #7
    • Paris Blues - 1961 - by Martin Ritt - with Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier #37
    • All Night Long - 1963 - by Basil Dearden - with Patrick McGoohan, Keith Michell and Betsy Blair #8
    • A Man Called Adam - 1966 - by Leo Penn - feat. Samis Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong #31
    • Sweet Love, Bitter - 1967 - by Herbert Danska - with Jerry Archer, Dick Gregory #32
    • Lady sings the Blues - 1972 - by Sidney J. Furie - with Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams #2
    • Louis Armstrong - Chicago Style - 1976 - by Lee Philips #25
    • Sven Klang's Combo - 1976 - by Stellan Olsson #4
    • Talmage Farlow - 1981 - by Lorenzo DeStefano - with Tal Farlow, George Benson, Lenny Breau, and more #10
    • 'Round Midnight - 1986 - by Bertrand Tavernier - with François cluzet, Dexter Gordon, a lot of guest stars. #1
    • Bird - 1987 - by Clint Eastwood - with Forest Whitaker #1
    • Let's Get Lost - 1988 - by Bruce Weber - with Chet Baker #1
    • Mo' Better Blues - 1990 - by Spike Lee - with Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Spike Lee #12
    • The Fabulous Baker Boys - 1990 - by Steve Kloves - with Jeff Bridges, Beau Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer #33
    • Dingo - 1991 - by Rolf de Heer - feat. Miles Davis #26
    • Lush Life - 1993 - by Michael Elias - with Forest Whitaker, Jeff Goldblum #2
    • Just Friend - 1994 - by Marc-Henri Wajnberg #1
    • A Great Day in Harlem - 1995 - by Jean Bach - with Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton #10
    • Kansas City - 1996 - by Robert Altman - with Michael Murphy, Miranda Richardson #2
    • Sweet and Lowdown - 1999 - by Woody Allen - with Sean Penn #5
    • Straight No Chaser - 2000 - by Charlotte Zwerin - with Thelonious Monk, Nica De Koenigswarter #10
    • Jazz - 2001 - by Ken Burns #16
    • Swing - 2002 - By Tony Gatlif - feat. Tchavolo Schmitt #1
    • Barney Wilen, the Rest of Your Life - 2006 - by Sephane Sinde - with Barney Wilen #1
    • Crazy (Hank Garland Story) - 2007 - by Rick Bieber - with Waylon Payne, Ali Larter #13
    • Martino Unstrung - 2008 - by Ian Knox - feat. Pat Martino #30
    • The Jazz Baroness - 2009 - by Hannah Rothschild - with Duchess of Devonshire, Chico Hamilton and Roy Haynes #3
    • Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense - 2010 - by Lars Larson, Michael Rivoira - with Ravi Coltrane, Bill Frisell,... #11
    • Tremé (tv series) - 2010 - by David Simon and Eric Overmyer #17
    • Whiplash - 2014 - by Damien Chazelle - with Miles Teller and JK Simmons
    • Low Down (Joe Albany biopic) - 2015 - by Jeff Preiss - with John Hawkes and Elle Fanning #42


    with famous jazz soundtracks :
    • Sait-on jamais ? (No Sun in Venice) - 1957 - by Roger Vadim, scored by John Lewis #35
    • Screaming Mimi -1958 - by Gerd Oswald
    • Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) -1958 - by Louis Malle, score by Miles Davis #9
    • Anatomy of a Murder - 1959 - by Otto Preminger, music by Duke Ellington #8
    • Odds Against Tomorrow - 1959 - by Robert Wise, scored by John Lewis #35
    • Mental Cruelty - 1960 - by ?, music by George Gruntz #20
    • Bullitt - 1969 - by Peter Yates, music by Lalo Schifrin #1
    • A Tribute to Jack Johnson - 1970 - by Bill Clayton, music by Miles Davis. #33


    close to jazz : Ray #15, Naked Lunch#21, Lost Highway #1, last tango in paris#23 Johnny Staccato(tv series) #27, Screaming Mimi #43
    Last edited by nado64; 03-30-2015 at 06:48 AM. Reason: update

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    lush life--
    Lush Life (TV 1993) - IMDb

    lady sings the blues

    kansas city (outstanding musicians playing other outstanding musicians)--
    Kansas City (1996) - IMDb

  4. #3

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    The Jazz Baroness

    *more of a documentary... but I am into documentaries.

  5. #4

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    Sven Klang's Combo
    "Thought by many to be one of the best ever films about the jazz environment, this follows the travails of the members of an amateur dance band that for a moment becomes a jazz group when a real jazzman, saxophonist Lars Nilsson (Boustedt) joins them, bringing with him (the year is 1958) the tang of Charlie Parker. Slowly, however, the group retreats from the inspiring but fearful world Lars has introduced them to - here, for once, the clichéd association of drugs and jazz works well - leaving Lars listening to the music in his head but stumbling through life. Ultimately, the film holds to the romantic view of creativity, but its virtues lie in director Olsson's careful (often very funny) observation of its characters and their worlds."
    Also, one of the few films ever to acknowledge the "car spotting" phenomenon

  6. #5

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    Woody Allen's 'Sweet and Lowdown', with Sean Penn...

  7. #6

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    "Minnie the Mooch" - Cab Calloway's and man did it stink!!!

    "Helz a Poppin'" - Featured Frankie Manning and Whitie's Lindy Hoppers. It's probably the best "talkie" that features lindy hopping from the 1930s.

    ~DB

  8. #7

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    "Jazz on a Summer's Day," a classic doc about the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.

  9. #8

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    "All Night Long"
    "Pete Kelly's Blues"
    Not about jazz, but great soundtrack by Duke Ellington, "Anatomy of a Murder."
    Brad

  10. #9

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    Perhaps off-topic, but...
    Ascenseur pour l'échafaud (Lift to the scaffold...), for the Miles Davis soundtrack..?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrymclark
    The Jazz Baroness

    *more of a documentary... but I am into documentaries.
    Thanks for mentioning this. I wasn't aware they had made a documentary about her. That's a must see for me.

    There's a book coming out in June:

    Amazon.com: Nica's Dream: The Life and Legend of the Jazz Baroness (9780393069402): David Kastin: Books

    I also prefer documentaries. Here's my favorite:

    Amazon.com: Thelonious Monk - Straight No Chaser: Thelonious Monk, Nica De Koenigswarter, Barry Harris, Bob Jones (IV), Johnny Griffin, Larry Gales, Nellie Monk, Teo Macero, Tommy Flanagan (II), Phil Woods, Frank Paccione, Thelonious Monk Jr., Harry

    Nica figures prominently in it.

    Two other favorites:

    Talmage Farlow Film

    Amazon.com: A Great Day in Harlem: Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Art Blakey, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Silver, Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, Buck Clayton, Hank Jones, Art Farmer, Johnny Griffin, Steve Petropoulos, Jean Bach, Susan Peeh

    Both have great extras, in addition to the main documentaries.

  12. #11

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    'Icons Among Us' is excellent!


  13. #12

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    Mo' Better Blues

  14. #13

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    others have ripped it on various grounds, but i liked it...

    Crazy - The Story of Hank Garland: Movie Synopsis

  15. #14

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    The Man with the Golden Arm.

  16. #15

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    What about the movie about Ray Charles with Jamie Foxx? I like that one a lot.


  17. #16
    I really like Ken Burns' Jazz documentary, though I understand a lot of jazzers don't. Of course I really enjoy his other films as well. I don't have a problem with (and actually enjoy) blatent sentimentality. Whatever aspect of jazz he may arguably marginalize, he does put forward the premise that jazz is perhaps the most important thing America has ever produced. Great music and great stories. Definitely emphasizes early history.

  18. #17
    Baltar Hornbeek Guest
    If like your jazz alive and visceral, you might dig HBO's series Tremé. Not so much for you *bookish* types who take it in the auditorium rather than a club.

    Also, Robert Altman did a good one called, Kansas City

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrymclark
    The Jazz Baroness

    *more of a documentary... but I am into documentaries.

    if i recollect accurately, this movie tales the tale of how Monk let this woman go to prison for his marijuana. correct?

  20. #19

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    Thank you for you participation.
    I updated the list. I hope I have not forgotten anything.

    Others ?

  21. #20

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    My favorite Jazz soundtrack is from the movie 'Mental Cruelty' with Barney Wilen, Kenny Clarke, etc.

    http://www.discogs.com/OST-George-Gr...elease/3003305

    Listen here to the Main Theme:

    http://v6.tinypic.com/player.swf?file=14b40zk&s=6

  22. #21

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    Cronenberg's Naked Lunch -- not about jazz but has an awesome "third wave" soundtrack that heavily features Ornette Coleman:


    Trailer:
    Last edited by Rich Cochrane; 06-14-2012 at 06:23 AM.

  23. #22

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    "Icons Among Us" was interesting, had a lot of good music in it. But ...

    "Interesting documentary, in a way. Parallel example to 'Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.' A lot of the new players, when they talk about their music, don't talk ABOUT it, they talk AROUND it - not relating to what has gone before or how the past has influenced them. 'John Coltrane played that - f--- 'em!' is not very helpful. If you leave out the less reasoned commentary - there were some good observations in there - and let the music speak for itself, this could be a valuable overview of what is new."

    That's what I wrote as a review on Netflix's site - guess I'm more of a traditionalist than I thought.

  24. #23

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    i think gato barbieri became better known for his playing on the "last tango in paris" soundtrack. the music was jazzy, although i don't know if you guys would call it jazz. (i never saw the movie.)

    i found two DVDs at a dollar store: "reet, petite, and gone" with louis jordan and "swing!" an oscar micheaux film.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Mo' Better Blues
    Love Mo' Better Blues and Dexter Gordon's Round Midnight great band in the movie. Last Clint Eastwood's Bird they took some of Parker's solos and added modern rhythm section.

  26. #25

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    I haven't seen them all, but too many of the "jazz movies" I've seen were either documentaries or protrayals of the jazz artists' adictions to alcohol or drugs, than they were the music and/or the business of jazz.

    Lady sings the blues
    Dexter
    Young man with a horn
    The Man with a Golden Arm
    Bird . . . although, I loved Bird because it was superbly acted and directed. Also because it was directed by a real jazz fanatic and frustrated jazz pianist . . . Clint eastwood.


    Those are some of those that while wonderfully acted were more about the life styles of the artists than their successes in jazz.

    I liked The Benny Goodman Story which stared Steve Allen. Steve wasn't the best actor in the world, but the movie was about jazz. There were great performances in that movie by real jazz artists.

    Ray was just way off the charts great in every regard. Nuff said!

    I also liked the Louis Armstrong Story, starring Ben Vereen. That was GREAT!!

  27. #26

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    Want something really deep? Put on yer boots....


  28. #27

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    Not a movie, but everyone should see this at least once:

    Johnny Staccato

    HILARIOUS, without meaning to be.

    I'm still trying to figure out what movie this was from:



    The waiter singing over Red's lines is killing it for me. Note the name of the club at the beginning; it was later taken over by new management who made it a punk club and changed the name to "Straight 'N Horny." Of course, Red "Yost" Norvo is playing over at the "Madhouse," which is where the screenwriter who deemed it necessary to give Red the middle name "Yost" ended up.
    Last edited by paynow; 06-14-2012 at 12:37 PM.

  29. #28

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    -Pat Martino's Unstrung

    similar to the above mentioned Tal Farlow feature movie.

  30. #29

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    A Man Called Adam with Sammy Davis jr. I saw this movie with Charles Mingus, so it has a special place in my heart.

  31. #30

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    Sweet Love Bitter, 1967,with Dick Gregory as Richie "Eagle" Stokes, a character loosely based on Bird, with a soundtrack by Mal Waldron and based on the book Night Song by John Williams.

  32. #31

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    I've never seen the film but I've got Miles Davis' soundtrack to "A Tribute to Jack Johnson". Nice music featuring John McLaughlin.

    "The Fabulous Baker Boys", with Jeff & Beau Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer as a niteclubbing lounge act, has a soundtrack of jazz piano by Dave Gruisin including some excursions by Jeff's character when he breaks away into the "jazz" life. Some decent renditions of standards sung by Ms Pfeiffer. Watching her writhe around on top of the piano in a red dress while singing "Makin' Whoopie" is worth the price of admission.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlatt Wound
    I've never seen the film but I've got Miles Davis' soundtrack to "A Tribute to Jack Johnson". Nice music featuring John McLaughlin.

    "The Fabulous Baker Boys", with Jeff & Beau Bridges and Michelle Pfeiffer as a niteclubbing lounge act, has a soundtrack of jazz piano by Dave Gruisin including some excursions by Jeff's character when he breaks away into the "jazz" life. Some decent renditions of standards sung by Ms Pfeiffer. Watching her writhe around on top of the piano in a red dress while singing "Makin' Whoopie" is worth the price of admission.
    The Fabulous Baker Boys . . . great pick up!! Great jazz movie. How the hell did we over look this one???

  34. #33

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    There's also The Five Pennies, a (highly fictionalized) biopic about cornetist Red Nichols.

    For soundtracks, you can add No Sun in Venice and Odds Against Tomorrow, scored by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

  35. #34

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    I see it was already ;sited but I'll say it again. All Night Long has appearances by Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck, among others where the back drop is a jazz jam session party at the home of some rich english jazz lover. Not a good movie, but what the hell.

  36. #35

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    "Paris Blues" - 1961. Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward.

  37. #36

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    UP.
    Whiplash added.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by goshawk
    There's also The Five Pennies, a (highly fictionalized) biopic about cornetist Red Nichols.

    For soundtracks, you can add No Sun in Venice and Odds Against Tomorrow, scored by John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

    I remember it was one of the first movies I ever saw my parent took me to and I dug it. We got the soundtrack album and I played it all the time. I got a copy of the movie Kansas City that was mentioned in this thread, what amazing band and they are woven throughout the movie. The movie was good, but the band was great.

  39. #38

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    Icons among us the series is something I continue to frequently watch although I have seen it many times..

    Really great, with some awesome jazz guitar clips!

  40. #39

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    How did this one ever get by me? Anyone heard of or seen Low Down?


    David

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by paynow
    Not a movie, but everyone should see this at least once:

    Johnny Staccato

    HILARIOUS, without meaning to be.

    I'm still trying to figure out what movie this was from:



    The waiter singing over Red's lines is killing it for me. Note the name of the club at the beginning; it was later taken over by new management who made it a punk club and changed the name to "Straight 'N Horny." Of course, Red "Yost" Norvo is playing over at the "Madhouse," which is where the screenwriter who deemed it necessary to give Red the middle name "Yost" ended up.
    That Movie was , "Screaming Mimi" and it featured Jimmy Wyble on guitar in that scene with Red Norvo.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltar Hornbeek
    If like your jazz alive and visceral, you might dig HBO's series Tremé. Not so much for you *bookish* types who take it in the auditorium rather than a club.

    Also, Robert Altman did a good one called, Kansas City
    Kansas City showed "cutting" sessions that were amazing, If Irecall correctly, Winton was in one of them...

    As the all-night jam session was ending, the bassman finally got his chance for a solo...epic!

  43. #42

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    When Giant is first betting in Mo Better Blues what is that thing his bookie Pete clicks after he best? Anybody have any idea?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  44. #43

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    I find more truth - and entertainment - in fiction.

    Be Kind Rewind
    - for the Fats Waller sub-story.


    +1 for Lush Life (the full movie's on YouTube - 'Lush Life 1993'):
    Last edited by destinytot; 08-30-2017 at 03:29 AM.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    How did this one ever get by me? Anyone heard of or seen Low Down?


    David
    I really like that movie watched if a few times.

    A darker film with actual musicians is The Connection with Jackie McLean

    Last edited by docbop; 08-30-2017 at 01:17 PM.

  46. #45

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    Does an episode of a TV series count?

  47. #46

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    Robert Altman's Kansas City is a okay movie, but there is a killer band that reappears throughout the movie with Nicholas Payton, Joshua Redman, Russell Malone, and others.


  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    Robert Altman's Kansas City is a okay movie, but there is a killer band that reappears throughout the movie with Nicholas Payton, Joshua Redman, Russell Malone, and others.

    Outstanding cinematography in that film. Big fan of Altman's since seeing McCabe and Mrs. Miller on the big screen.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by destinytot
    Does an episode of a TV series count?

    now that's too funny!

  50. #49

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    Miles Ahead was godawful. Worse even than Mo Better Blues---and that's pretty bad. Let's Get Losts rates up there---or down there---too.

    Too many of these films are merely claptrap that exploit the tired jazz outlaw/junkie theme. Miles Ahead had a ridiculous 'plot' about a fight over a tape of Miles's, coke, women and guns (fired by Miles). Gimme a break. I like Don Cheadle, but he booted this one.

    The documentaries that feature the artist are way better to me. I thought Straight, No Chaser was as good as it gets. Charlotte Zwerin was a film maker independent of the Hollywood system, and she knew how to get it right.

    Even Wild Man Blues was good. Woody, to Soon-yi after he finagled her omelet but found it was hard as rock:

    'Geez. What'd they do, vulcanize this?'...

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Outstanding cinematography in that film. Big fan of Altman's since seeing McCabe and Mrs. Miller on the big screen.
    One of the 'others' is my old bud James Zollar. Just wanna give him a plug. He's in the trumpet section, no solos..