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Documentary Review | Jazz: Risk


Risk (PN 1995.96 .J37 J39 2000 pt.8) is the eighth episode of a ten part series on the history of Jazz by Ken Burn. After World War II and during the rise of the Cold War, America began one of it’s most prosperous eras. Swing Jazz are fading and big bands are out the door. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie perfect their new Jazz, nicknamed Bebop, despite the initial scorn and rejection from many music critics and older Jazz classics. Musicians are taking risks and changing Jazz as we know it. Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, and many others bring a unique light and new audiences to Jazz than ever before.

As always, the style, delivery, and quality of this documentary are excellent. Ken Burns doesn’t seem to disappoint when it comes to his documentaries, especially this Jazz series. I was impressed by the amount of firsthand film and recordings there were in this documentary. It was fascinating to watch and learn about the influential and tragic lives of many famous musicians and composers of the time. I definitely recommend this to anyone intrigued by Jazz or music history.

Written by: Hannah McBride

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