Jazz on Film

I Like It Like That: Favreau's "Chef" offers food, music, heart

Oct 1, 2015

As the film opens, the Wild Magnolias’ version of "Iko Iko/Brother John" is slowly pumping up the volume while the camera zooms in on close-ups of a chef’s hands expertly dicing up fennel fronds, zesting lemons, seasoning pots, and slicing up juicy fruit sections.  It’s mouth watering and it’s funky and you know something tasty is getting ready to happen in “Chef” (2014).

The Better Your Left Hand, the Better the Music will Sound

Sep 3, 2015

New Orleans – that most unique of American cities - has produced some of the greatest and best-known piano players the Jazz and Blues world has ever seen. From Jelly Roll Morton to Fats Domino to Dr. John to Henry Butler, their influence is as widespread as the Mississippi River. Jazz itself was born out of the sporting houses in New Orleans where the piano players played orchestrated music designed to help promote good patronage.

Jazz on Film: Jazz Thespians in "All Night Long" (1962)

Aug 6, 2015

Wealthy entrepreneur and jazz fan Rodney Hamilton, steps into his swank warehouse in London. He is preparing a big surprise party to celebrate the one-year anniversary of African American pianist/bandleader Rex and his British white singer-bride Delilah who recently retired to be his full-time wife. You know the jazz is going to be plentiful when Rodney finds real-life Charles Mingus alone on the bandstand rehearsing.

Jazz on Film: The original jazz party

Jul 17, 2015

In 1954, wealthy socialite Elaine Lorillard had an idea for the “First Annual American Jazz Festival” to be put on over the Fourth of July weekend in the very upscale beach community of Newport, Rhode Island. She enlisted George Wein to produce it and with a few hiccups over the years it has been going strong ever since. Curiously, it is only the second oldest Jazz Festival. That honor goes to the Australian Jazz Convention in New South Wales that has run continuously since 1946. 

A new documentary on the life of Nina Simone will be released on Netflix on June 26, 2015.  "What Happened, Miss Simone" (101 mins.) is directed by Liz Garbus.  

"Nina Simone's general narrative has inspired so many young women throughout her career and since her death (in 2003)," said Rodney Franks, host of "Into the Evening" on Jazz89 KUVO.  "She was a complicated spirit, with a lot of depth."