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Documentary Review | Jazz, The Adventure

Jazz, The Adventure (PN 1995.96 .J37 J39 2000 pt.8) is the eighth episode of a ten part series by Ken Burns on the history of America’s gift to the world: Jazz. This episode coversĀ a unique period of success, fading, and heartache for jazz artists. Miles Davis triumphs over his addiction, unlike many artists at the time, and finds great success with Columbia Records. Duke Ellington’s career is saved by a surprising performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. meanwhile, millions of young aspiring musicians mourn the loss of a brilliant and up-coming trumpeter, Clifford Brown. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, a newly formed group, find great success and continue for many decades. Among all of this were musicians, including Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane, who influenced a new age of Jazz known as avant-garde.

I have always enjoyed these documentaries by Ken Burns, because of the excellent cinematography and narration. They also include a plenitude of raw footage and recordings from that time that complete the near sublimity of the film. This and many other factors are why I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

Written by: Hannah McBride

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