I’m feeling like there’s not much to look forward to these days, so I am enjoying rediscovering the past much more. One of the better experiences I’ve had with that lately is viewing the sparkling new 4K restoration by IndieCollect of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival documentary, Jazz on a Summer’s Day.
Movies brought Charlie Haden and me together. Specifically, it was a Sunday night double-bill at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, May 13, 2001—a pairing of two John Alton-photographed noirs, The Crooked Way (1949) and Talk About a Stranger (1952) , part of the original Festival of Film Noir I’d created for the American Cinematheque. Continue reading →
Beginning in the late 1920s, there was a subtle shift in the jazz repertoire as combos and big bands began to perform and record songs from the Broadway stage and Hollywood musical. To be sure, tunes based on the blues, older jazz forms (ragtime, quadrilles, etc.), and original compositions continued to be an important part of the jazz “book.” Still, the Great American Songbook grew in ever-increasing importance where the jazz repertoire was concerned.