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American Blue Note
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(Dec 11, 2012)
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It's the early 60's, and Jack Solow dreams of playing the jazz clubs of New York City's 52nd Street with his own band. His reality it's one audition after another leading to a string of gigs at weddings and out of town dives where the only criterion seems to be: do you have a car? Given one year by the band members to achieve stardom as a jazz group, Jack believes there's nothing more important in life than reaching that goal. Only when Jack meets Benita, a dancing teacher and free spirit, does he begin to wonder if perhaps there might be more to life than eternal rejection. Finally, when Lee, the band's bass player, gets the chance to sit in with a prestigious jazz performer leaving the group in the lurch, Jack goes to Herculean and comical heights to save what turns out to be the group's last booking but acknowledges that his dream of his own jazz band has vanished. In the end with Benita by his side, Jack surprises himself, realizing that there might be more than one way of defining success.
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Top Customer Reviews
By rsoonsa on February 5, 2005
Format: VHS Tape1 Comment Sending feedback...
Essentially a series of interjoining episodes such as may be found in a collection of short fiction wherein are portrayed common characters, this film has nary an uninteresting moment as it chronicles the attempts from a saxophone playing head of a jazz quintet, Jack Solow (Peter MacNicol) to locate steady employment for his musicians, not an easy task within a highly competitive entertainment environment. The veteran cinematographer and film school mentor Ralph Toporoff directs this work, reflecting in its close attention to detail his knowledge of the scenario's subject and, when scenes are basically melodrama, Toporoff along with members of his cast and crew successfully address them in a naturalistic fashion. Intriguing personal elements are introduced into the episodic script that stand very well on their own, aided by sensitive playing from the well-selected cast, smoothly implemented camera setups, and clever utilization of sparse resources, as evidenced in footage concerning a wedding. The quintet members begin to lose confidence that a gig will be found along New York City's jazz nucleus, 52nd Street, their worries exacerbated by a discouraging and ongoing series of frustrating auditions and weekend non-jazz jobs, but Jack steadfastly believes that the five will be hired into a desirable night spot if they will remain persistent. A jazz-flavoured sound track is, in the main, work of pianist Larry Schanker who helms a talented collection of sidemen through his scoring, abetted by top-flight editing from Jack Haigis.Read more ›
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