Jazz on a Summer's Day

Director: Bert Stern
Year Released: 1959
Rating: 3.0

This is a fine celebration of American Pride in the Summertime by noted photographer Stern. Commentary years later reveals that it wasn't meant to be 'strictly' a documentary of the Newport Jazz Festival - that he wanted to put it in story form - but typical production problems (and we know about those) cut plans short, so he was left with the footage of the performers (all excellent) and some lazy snippets of the America's Cup race. Shows diversity in every form - race, social status and age - and his eye catches a few choice moments (the man opening the beer in a restaurant, a girl in blue who Stern must have realized has some of the best reaction shots of anyone in the audience) to splice into the picture. Could have used a few more non-festival shots or more images from the America's Cup race to add more length and diversity towards the end - the decision to conjoin the colorful rippling of water with Jack Teagarden & Co.'s bubbly melodies is perfect - but the final product is still impressive in itself.