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Jazz on a Summer's Day
July 5, 2010 11:00 AM   Subscribe

"Young Bert Stern was already one of the leading fashion photographers of the 1950's when he resolved to shoot his first film before he was thirty. He made it, with two years to spare. The result, Jazz on a Summer's Day, is a luminously breezy film that brings the rich color palette of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar of those years into the world of the documentary cinema."

Here's (most of) the lineup:

Jimmy Giuffre 3
Thelonious Monk Trio
Anita O'Day
Dinah Washington
Chuck Berry
Chico Hamilton Quintet
Louis Armstrong & his All-Stars (and Jack Teagarden!)
Mahalia Jackson
posted by carsonb (19 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh hey an Anita O'Day clip I haven't see-JESUS CHRIST ON A KODAK HOW DID HE GET THAT SHARPNESS AND COLOR?
posted by The Whelk at 11:05 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that clip's my favorite. She's amazing.
posted by carsonb at 11:09 AM on July 5, 2010


Chico Hamilton FTMFW.
posted by kenko at 11:11 AM on July 5, 2010


I watched this just a few days ago. Plate'o'shrimp. (It's on Netflix Instant.)

Anita O'Day makes me happy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:19 AM on July 5, 2010


So hot the way Louis Armstrong sings with his whole face!
posted by heyho at 11:21 AM on July 5, 2010


First saw this in the 60s and never forgotten it. Sublime.
posted by binturong at 11:32 AM on July 5, 2010


Apart from all that fantastic music and the atmosphere: I highly recommend this movie as a fashion reference. Especially the crowd scenes. If the fashion industry had stopped here, I wouldn't mind. It's more Seinfeld's Kramer than it is Mad Men and it's oozing funk, soul, jazz and a blessed life in general.

I also suspect that the sub-set of Mefites who (want to) dress like this is rather substantial. Young hipsters and old cats alike. Or am I wrong here?
posted by ouke at 11:33 AM on July 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Thelonius Monk link has a malformed video ID; maybe this?

Wow. This is amazing. Thanks.
posted by kipmanley at 11:44 AM on July 5, 2010


Just starting watching it via Netflix. Everyone looks so cool in their light suits and hats and sunglasses. Americans looked great back then.
posted by octothorpe at 12:18 PM on July 5, 2010


I first saw this twenty five years ago at an impressionable 17 years old. It has had a permanent effect on the music I listen to and the clothes I like. So much so that I hitched to London once to see Anita O Day at Ronnie Scott's.
posted by itsjustanalias at 12:43 PM on July 5, 2010


You may wonder about the song selection: It turns out (as I recall) that Stern had problems getting the various organized crime entities that own the rights to most popular songs to allow him to use their music in this film, so the clips lean heavily toward songs in the public domain. I mean, if he could have used whatever performances he liked, this film could have been even (believe it or not) better.
posted by Faze at 1:23 PM on July 5, 2010


Yea, apparently it's missing performances by Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Sonny Rolands, among others.


I think that I'm going to have to get to work on that time machine (and buy myself a cream colored linen suit, straw hat and wayfarers).
posted by octothorpe at 1:32 PM on July 5, 2010


After multiple viewings the music still holds up terrifically well [as one would expect] but some of the staged footage of people dancing in a house and driving around and a shot of a woman reading and a few shots of the crowd [especially of the woman chewing gum] tends to get a bit annoying. It makes the whole film feel a bit disjointed. I wish he would have just stuck to the music and the musicians. That said, I still recommend it.
posted by Rashomon at 1:42 PM on July 5, 2010


I love watching Mahalia Jackson sing through her smile. Time to dig out her records again and get them onto my iPod.
posted by catlet at 6:38 PM on July 5, 2010


This was made the year I was born. It seems a lifetime ago.
posted by DaddyNewt at 6:46 PM on July 5, 2010


Great movie, great post. Thanks, carsonb!
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:00 PM on July 5, 2010


What about the best leading fashion photographers on the 90's ?
posted by sophielamm at 3:34 AM on July 6, 2010


Er... what about 'em?
posted by carsonb at 10:50 AM on July 6, 2010


This might explain what sophielamm was talking about.
posted by Xalf at 1:08 PM on July 6, 2010


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