New Jazz Film - They Died Before 40
Many people may have heard of Charlie Parker, who died at 34. But others, such as Herschel Evans, who died before reaching 30, are very little known and their stories untold. For example, Jo Jones, drummer and an integral part of the Count Basie band for many years, has called Evans the greatest musician he ever played with. He said that Evans made everyone he played with better.
Who was this giant, what made him an important creative artist and why did he die so young? These are questions that this film will answer concerning Evans and many more. Also to be featured are Charlie Christian, Fats Waller, Jimmy Blanton, Bunny Berigan, Clifford Brown, Chick Webb and Chu Berry.
Others to be included will be Bix Beiderbecke, Bunny Berigan, Fats Navarro, Oscar Pettiford, Eric Dolphy, Paul Chambers, Serge Chaloff, Sonny Berman, Frank Teschemacher, Lee Morgan and about a dozen more.
Through archival film footage, photographs, reminiscences and expert discourse we will learn more about these artists, develop an appreciation of their artistry and reveal how and why their careers were cut short.
This film will expand our cultural heritage for this internationally renowned art form.
The film will be produced and directed by Howard E. Fischer, an attorney who represented jazz musicians and arts organizations and was the founder of the New York Jazz Museum in 1972 and its Executive Director until 1977. He also produced, wrote and directed the acclaimed film THE HOLLAND AVENUE BOYS: A SUCCESS STORY that appeared on over 50 PBS stations. Dan Morgenstern, Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, a renowned jazz historian, author, editor, and archivist active in the jazz field since 1958 will be a consultant to the project.
Financial participation is available and film footage, photographs plus any documents, contacts for family members, musicians and others who knew them are sought.
Who Are They
(Those in italics will be featured)
Charlie Christian, guitar - died at 23 in 1942
Chu Berry, tenor saxophone - died at 31 in 1941
Bix Beiderbecke, cornet - died at 28 in 1931
Charlie Parker, alto saxophone - died at 34 in 1955
Jimmy Blanton, bass - died at 21 in 1942
Bunny Berigan, trumpet - died at 33 in 1942
Clifford Brown, trumpet - died at 25 in 1956
Chick Webb, drums - died at 30 in 1939
Herschel Evans, tenor saxophone - died at 30 in 1939
Fats Waller, piano, vocals - died at 39 in 1943
Fats Navarro, trumpet - died at 26 in 1950
Sonny Berman, trumpet - died at 22 in 1947
Lee Morgan, trumpet - died at 33 in 1972
Clyde Hart, piano - died at 34 in 1945
Lil Green, vocals - died at 35 in 1954
Eddie Costa, piano, vibes - died at 32 in 1962
Robert Johnson, singer, guitar - died at 27 in 1938
Dick Wilson, tenor saxophone - died at 30 in 1941
Wynton Kelly, piano - died at 39 in 1971
Tommy Ladnier, trumpet - died at 39 in 1939
James "Bubber" Miley, trumpet - died at 29 in 1932
Nat Jaffe, piano - died at 27 in 1945
Frank Teschemacher, clarinet, saxes - died at 25 in 1933
Eddie Lang, guitar - died at 30 in 1933
Wardell Gray, tenor saxophone - died at 34 in 1955
Albert Ayler, tenor saxophone - died at 34 in 1970
Dinah Washington, vocals - died at 39 in 1963
Serge Chaloff, baritone saxophone - died at 33 in 1957
Clarence "Pinetop" Smith, piano, vocals - died at 24 in 1929
Eric Dolphy, saxophone - died at 36 in 1964
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