Jazz on a Summer’s Day is a moving, impressionistic documentary that captures a moment in music history, a warm summer’s day that carries through into evening at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island, 1958.
Possibly “documentary” is not precisely the word to suggest the character of this eighty-five-minute film, which really lacks the form and comprehension that would justify that tag. Better to call it an “impression”—a compilation of shots and scenes—to convey an atmosphere of leisure and enjoyment while jazz is being played. – Bosley Crowther, New York Times, 1960
Poetically photographed and directed by commercial and fashion photographer Bert Stern, the film captured inspired performances by some of the biggest names in jazz at the time, but also the iconic style and fashion of late 1950s America.
To celebrate the legendary film and festival, which incidentally begins again on the 2nd of August this year, we’ve made a Spotify playlist that takes its inspiration from the formidable cast of jazz greats that played in 1958. Musicians included:
Jimmy Giuffre 3: Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Hall
Thelonious Monk Trio: Thelonious Monk, Henry Grimes, Roy Haynes
Sonny Stitt and Sal Salvador
Gerry Mulligan Quartet: Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer
Chico Hamilton Quintet
Louis Armstrong and his All-Stars: Trummy Young, Danny Barcelona