Anita O'Day: Jazz On a Summer's Day

As a hardcore jazz concert film, this fails. But wait! If you view all of the commentary stuff *first*, then watch the actual film, it's a surrealistic journey back in time.Jazz On A Summer's Day* is cross-cultural, interracial—even abstract at times.

When you consider Newport, Rhode Island, in 1958 as the backdrop, then this film is an absolute cultural gem and a must-see for anyone interested in sociology of pre-60's America. In fact, Woodstock (the movie) would not have been what it was had not this film predated it by 10+ years.

Wikipedia cites that in "1999, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.'"

Anita O'Day in Jazz On a Summer's Day

Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, George Shearing, and even Chuck Berry all appear, but it was the inimitable Anita O'Day who absolutely stole the show! Alan Kurtz provides a more thorough review of the event, the film, and related audio recordings over at

P.S.—Of note is that, at 1:33 in the embedded video clip, Atlantic Records' founder, Ahmet Ertegun, is seen in lower right portion of the video. Atlantic, of course, was the label for a veritable who's who in the music world, including Ray Charles (before jumping ship to ABC Dunhill).

*Using Amazon's Video On Demand, instantly watch this film on your PC by clicking the DVD cover image or the adjacent film title text link above.