Jazz Movies: Best Films About Jazz


by Ellie Schneider - Date: 2008-11-03 - Word Count: 625 Share This!

Everybody knows that the The Jazz Singer was the first ever sound film in history. In the almost eighty years that have passed since then, many jazz singers, jazz musicians and jazz orchestras appeared and or were the theme of many films. Here you can read about three of the top movies on jazz for jazz fans and fans of good cinema.

Bird 1988

Bird was the nickname of the great jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker. Bird is also the title of the biopic that was directed by Clint Eastwood on Bird who has been struggling for wide recognition of his music as well as fighting with his self destructive tendencies until his death in the early age of 34. However, the movie avoids depicting the cliche of the rise and fall of the drug addict musician. Mainly thanks to Eastwood whose love of jazz is evident in every scene of the 160 minutes feature. Talented Forest Whitaker plays an excellent leading role of Bird.

Charlie Parker fans do not need this recommendation, but they would probably appreciate the fact that the film soundtrack features original recording by Bird. Those who have seen documentaries about Parker would enjoy the great preparation work Whitaker has done for the role. Fans of Clint Eastwood tougher filmography would not be disappointed either, since Bird is definitely one of the best, if not the finest, movies directed by Eastwood.

Round Midnight 1986

The character of Dale Turner, whose relationship with a young French fan sets the plot of Bertrand Tavernier film of 1986, was inspired by several jazz legends such as Lester Young, Bud Powell and more. The great jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon donated his personal experiences and acquaintances with the jazz world to create the role of the troubled jazz saxophonist who leaves his homeland and moves to Paris in a search of admiration. In Paris, Turner meets Francis Borler a local fan who becomes his caretaker who successfully helps him in his struggle with alcoholism, drug abuse, depression and trouble making.

Regardless to your taste in music, Round Midnight is an optimistic film that celebrates the love of people and the power of music. Unless your heart is made of stone, you cannot watch the scene in which Borler observes Turner from the other side of the road as he orders orange juice in a cafe without shedding a tear. Jazz fans would be happy to know that Herbie Hancock is responsible for the Academy Award winning music score.

Mo Better Blues 1990

A talented trumpeter who cannot make the right decisions in both his professional and personal life is in the center of Spike Lees 1990 film. Denzel Washington plays the role of the fictional New York trumpeter Bleek Gilliam who tangles with two girlfriends, Joie Lee and Cynda Williams, a competitive saxophonist, Wesley Snipes, who aims to take over the quartet he heads, and a manager, Spike Lee, with gambling problems.

As the son of the appreciated Jazz bass player, Bill Lee, Spike Lee was born and raised into the world of jazz. However, Mo Better Blues focuses mainly on Bleak personal issues. If you are expecting unusual insights, you might be disappointed but it still quality entertainment with excellent acting and good music. Bill Lee took care of the music score that includes music by Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis, Abbey Lincoln and other contemporary jazz musicians.

Bottom line, you do not have to be a fan of jazz to enjoy a good movie as much as you do not have to be an android to appreciate a good sci fi film. Whether you are a jazz fan or you fall asleep each time you hear the sound of an alt sax, the three movies recommended above are worth watching.

Related Tags: bird, the jazz singer, jazz singers, jazz musicians, jazz orchestras, movies on jazz, charlie parker, round midnight, mo better blues

Ellie Schneider like to spend her free time playing at the best online casinos. Last year she enough money playing www.online-casinos-707.net/basic-blackjack.html">Blackjack to retire and make writing her new career.

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