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Art kane, now deceased, coordinated a group photograph of all the top jazz musicians in nyc in the year 1958. The documentary compiles interviews of many of the musicians in the photograph to talk about the day of the photograph, and it shows film footage taken that day by milt hinton and his wife.
Jazz fan Jean Bach turned A Great Day in Harlem into a labor of love. This motion picture, with its countless anecdotes about elements of the photograph and the effort that went into taking it, is a joy to watch. We learn why Thelonious Monk wore a light coat and positioned himself next to Marian McPartland and Mary Lou Williams. We're told about Dizzy Gillespie's penchant for sticking his tongue out. We are let in on the truth about why Count Basie was sitting on the curb next to a group of children. Throughout the film's sixty minute running time, many of the surviving participants relate fond memories of the day and each other.
DVD, Special Edition, No Longer Produced
New York Times
Unique... delightful little tidbits... brilliantly alive... a wonderful documentary...
San Francisco Chronicle
Lovely, funny, moving ...darts and sways like a good solo...
The New Yorker
A brilliant, funny, moving altogether miraculous documentary.