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By the Sea With Dinah and Louis

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It was 50 years ago that twentysomething fashion photographer Bert Stern decided he had to make a movie before he turned 30, and that it would be about the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. It was a sweet year to put on a jazz festival: You could warm up the crowd by day with Thelonious Monk playing “Blue Monk” (Stern juxtaposed it with a yacht race), then, after the sun set, chase “Sweet Little Sixteen” with Chuck Berry. Dinah Washington wailed an “All of Me” in which she made up her own lyrics, and made the crowd want to take some for themselves; Louis Armstrong, whose manager charged $25,000 for his appearance in the film, performed a duet of “Rocking Chair” with trombonist Jack Teagarden that left not a dry eye on the beach. Jazz on a Summer’s Day proved that a concert could be cinematic, opening the door to Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz, and so much more. It screens July 4 at Lincoln Center.


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