Great Day in Harlem

A Great Day in Harlem

Director: Jean Bach

Cast: Art Blakey

     
 

A Great Day in Harlem is a wonderful documentary about a seemingly ho-hum subject -- the taking of a photograph. Even when the photograph in question involves some of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived, building a film around a static subject like a photograph is not an easy task. Jean Bach's achievement lies in making this come brilliantly alive;…  See more details below

Overview

A Great Day in Harlem is a wonderful documentary about a seemingly ho-hum subject -- the taking of a photograph. Even when the photograph in question involves some of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived, building a film around a static subject like a photograph is not an easy task. Jean Bach's achievement lies in making this come brilliantly alive; indeed, there's a surprising buoyancy and a sprightliness to the entire enterprise that makes the film unique. True, there's a great deal of information that is imparted -- delightful little tidbits such as Maxine Sullivan having a gift for remembering even the most obscure of lyrics, or that asking Thelonious Monk (who wore a light-colored jacket to make sure he stood out in the picture) a question meant one would get a remarkably frank and truthful answer -- but what one remembers after viewing Great Day is not the various facts presented, or even the personalities of those discussed and/or interviewed. What one remembers is the feeling of joyful immediacy that the film evokes, truly making the viewer feel as if he or she were actually there in Harlem on the day in question. There are a number of complaints one could have about the film (such as the flatness of the lighting and the subsequent dullness of some of the shots), but the little flaws seem truly miniscule in comparison with that wonderful feeling.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/03/2006
UPC:
0014381303520
Original Release:
1995
Rating:
NR
Source:
Homevision
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:00:00

Special Features

"Art Kane" featurette; "Bill Charlap and Kenny Washington" featurette; "Copycat Photos" featurette; "Stories from the Making of A Great Day in Harlem" featurette; Liner notes by Whitney Balliett; 2nd disc includes almost three hours of new video profiles of all of the musicians involved in the photograph

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dizzy Gillespie Interviewee
Art Blakey Actor
Art Farmer Interviewee
Ernie Wilkins Interviewee
Mona Hinton Interviewee
Sonny Rollins Interviewee
Milt Hinton Interviewee
Hank Jones Interviewee
Gerry Mulligan Interviewee
Buck Clayton Actor
Count Basie Actor
Cab Calloway Actor
Marian McPartland Actor
Charles Mingus Actor
Thelonious Monk Actor
Hezekiah Leroy Gordon "Stuff" Smith Actor
Jonah Jones Actor
Quincy Jones Voice Only

Technical Credits
Jean Bach Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Johnny Mandel Consultant/advisor
Susan Peehl Editor,Screenwriter
Steve Petropoulos Cinematographer
Stuart Samuels Associate Producer
Matthew Seig Co-producer,Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- A Great Day in Harlem
1. Mutual Respect [1:06]
1. Individuality [1:40]
1. Jazz and Race [1:05]
1. About Bill [2:16]
1. About Kenny [1:58]
1. Learning From Listening [2:17]
1. Women [3:25]
1. Dizzy Gillespie: Teacher [1:45]
1. Dizzy Gillespie: Player [1:56]
1. Blakey Academy [1:39]
1. Jo Jones: Art of Brushes [2:41]
1. Johnny Griffin: "Way Before Trane" [:53]
1. Not Just Big Names [2:36]
1. Epilogue [:22]
1. Esquire Shoot [4:27]
2. Legendary Strides [5:29]
3. Early Call [7:56]
4. Idols & Contemporaries [10:57]
5. Loading the Film [10:13]
6. Surrendering to the Art [8:12]
7. The Magic Moment [10:55]
8. End Titles [1:25]

Videos

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