Keep On Keepin’ On review: Teaching and all that jazz

Written by admin on 16/08/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Musical connection: Clark Terry and Justin Kauflin in Keep On Keepin’ On. Musical connection: Clark Terry and Justin Kauflin in Keep On Keepin’ On.
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Musical connection: Clark Terry and Justin Kauflin in Keep On Keepin’ On.

Musical connection: Clark Terry and Justin Kauflin in Keep On Keepin’ On.

FILM KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON ★★★☆ (M) Selected cinemas (86 minutes)

Australian musician-turned-filmmaker Alan Hicks has made a disarming documentary portrait of legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry, 94, whom he first knew as a teacher. Hicks is not a figure in the film, although his affection for his subject is evident in every frame. The documentary  focuses on Terry’s mentoring of a talented twentysomething pianist Justin Kauflin. Kauflin has been blind since the age of 11 and sometimes struggles with doubt and nerves. But with Terry, there’s no sign of this.

Terry’s enveloping warmth, wisdom and good nature give the Oscar-shortlisted documentary much of its energy, even as his health declines. He might be full of stories from jazz’s glorious past, but he’s a man who also lives in the moment, musically and emotionally. This is a film about the nature of connection, a picture of a celebrated performer who loves to teach, even from a hospital bed, and of a teacher-pupil relationship in which friendship is as essential as rigour.

Earlier this year, Damien Chazelle’s feature Whiplash told the story of a young jazz drummer and his domineering, brutally manipulative teacher. Keep On Keepin’ On is is an intriguing contrast. It is built on very different assumptions about art and legacy.

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