Jazz '34: Remembrances of Kansas City Swing

Jazz '34: Remembrances of Kansas City Swing

A FILM BY: Robert Altman
STARRING: Harry Belafonte

Presented by the Chicago Film Society | CLICK HERE to Purchase Tickets

Believe it or not, Robert Altman once wound up directing an episode of the PBS culture-vulture staple Great Performances. JAZZ ’34 was conceived as an exploratory footnote to Altman’s 1996 narrative feature KANSAS CITY, reusing its sets and some of its cast to fashion a memory piece based on the director’s boyhood recollections of his hometown’s hottest clubs. Harry Belafonte narrates, but mostly stays out of the way of the performances, which need no elaboration. Employing some of the finest jazz interpreters of the ’90s (including Joshua Redman, James Carter, Geri Allen, and David “Fathead” Newman) as stand-ins, surrogates, and reanimators of the ’30s sound, JAZZ ’34 is a concert film of ghostly exuberance. This expanded ‘theatrical’ version never actually saw theatrical release in the US.

Print courtesy of Robert Altman Collection, UCLA Film & Television Archive

Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of their 50th Anniversary.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1977
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 72 mins
Format: 35mm