Jazz on a Summer's Day

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Overview

On a whim, photographer Bert Stern brought a motion-picture camera to the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, and by its close, he had put together a full-length documentary of the event. Stern's beautiful evocation of the festival, Jazz on a Summer's Day, has been given a loving presentation for this DVD release. The film has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been remixed for playback in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film is in English, with no multiple-language ...
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Overview

On a whim, photographer Bert Stern brought a motion-picture camera to the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, and by its close, he had put together a full-length documentary of the event. Stern's beautiful evocation of the festival, Jazz on a Summer's Day, has been given a loving presentation for this DVD release. The film has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been remixed for playback in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film is in English, with no multiple-language options included. Bonus material includes special chapter access that allows one to select individual performances, interviews with the musicians, or footage of the America's Cup yacht races, which were held in Newport the same weekend. Other bonus features include a short subject on Bert Stern and DVD-ROM access to related websites.
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Special Features

Digitally remastered; Web links; Multifunctional chapter access to live performances, reflections of the stars, the 1958 America's Cup, a complete festival play list, and more; Interactive short starring director Bert Stern with bonus scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Before The Last Waltz, Woodstock, or even Monterey Pop, there was Jazz on a Summer's Day. The granddaddy of the all-star concert film, it is a feast for the jazz enthusiast and features a parade of musical giants. Each viewer will have his or her own favorite moments, and highlights include Anita O'Day's showstopping rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," Dinah Washington belting out "All of Me,", and a medley of tunes from Louis Armstrong. Chuck Berry also delivers an enthusiastic version of "Sweet Little Sixteen," complete with his trademark duck walk, and Mahalia Jackson powerfully wraps things up with some gospel. As important as this film is as a record of jazz history, it is also impressive as documentary filmmaking. While never straying from the edict that the prime focus is on the performing artist, filmmaker Bert Stern also avoids randomly plopping the camera down on the stage. Instead he moves the camera in on the performers, providing a musical intimacy that must have been rare in the 1950s. He also regularly goes out amongst the audience, making the audience and their reaction to the concert almost as much a part of the film as the music itself. An invaluable contribution is made by editor Aram Avakian, who pieces together all of this footage, as well as shots from in and around Newport, into a coherent recount of a classic concert, and frequently does so by beautifully editing the film in rhythm with the music. In 1999, Jazz on a Summer's Day was added by the Library of Congress to its National Film Registry, designating it as a film landmark, and the film's significance as both a historical record and quality filmmaking is evident throughout.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/14/2000
  • UPC: 717119165048
  • Original Release: 1959
  • Rating:

  • Source: New Yorker Video
  • Presentation: Dolby 5.1 / Stereo
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:24:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gerry Mulligan
Anita O'Day
Mahalia Jackson
Louis Armstrong
Chuck Berry
Chico Hamilton
Big Maybelle
Thelonious Monk
George Shearing
Jack Teagarden
Dinah Washington
Duke Ellington
Technical Credits
Bert Stern Director, Cinematographer, Producer
Aram Avakian Editor
George Avakian Musical Direction/Supervision
Courtney Hafela Cinematographer
Ray Phealan Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Live Performances
1. Louis Armstrong [8:22]
2. Mahalia Jackson [5:37]
3. Gerry Mulligan [2:57]
4. Dinah Washington [14:41]
5. Chico Hamilton [2:42]
6. Anita O'Day [4:19]
7. George Shearing [3:57]
8. Jimmy Giuffre [3:48]
9. Chuck Berry [4:19]
10. Thelonious Monk [5:55]
11. Big Maybelle [12:55]
12. Sonny Stitt [11:52]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Jazz on a Summer's Day
      Jazz on a Summer's Day
      Short Cuts
         Reflections
            Chuck Berry
            Thelonious Monk
            Big Maybelle
            Sonny Stitt
      Newport 1958
         Jazz on Film
         The Impossible
         The Festival Playlist
         The Americas Cup
      New Yorker Films
   A Summer's Day With Bert Stern
      A Summer's Day With Bert Stein
      Short Cuts
         Army
         Lolita
         Aram Avakian
         Chico Hamilton
      BertStern.com
   Production Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wonderful!

    One of those gems that brings contradictory "tears of joy" to your eyes. Travel in time without a time machine. If you love Jazz, watch this. For me was much more than only jazz, though it was also about people, young and old. Wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Putting the Place on the Map

    Astounding visual clarity upstaged by the vocal gems -- this film is not to be missed! Live performances by Anita O'Day (mesmerizing), Thelonious Monk (intriguing), Mahalia Jackson (enraptured) and Dinah Washington (spunky) light up whatever room you're in. Just a treat to view the audience, embrace the music and bask in summer's glow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not many performances

    This is a documentary of the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, RI. It's mostly talk, but there are short clips of the musicians listed above. There's a lot of footage of the town of Newport and it's ocean lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews