Even the best jazz artists were not filmed under the circumstances they themselves might have chosen, since commercial entertainment was often the overriding concern of film producers. Nevertheless, jazz enthusiasts should be grateful for any film of jazz musicians, if only because so little of it exists. Much can be learned from those bits of film that preserve the images of the artists along with their music. Our pleasure in these images can be greatly enhanced when we know where they come from and why there were made.
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Bessie Smith, blues, compilation films, documentary, Duke Ellington, female film directors, film, Louis Armstrong, racism, short film, Thelonious Monk