A new documentary, CHOPS, is opening tomorrow (that’s June 26, 2009). Directed by Bruce Broder, it’s not another run-through of the life of a famous — and sometimes bedraggled — musician, a life viewed retrospectively. No, this one peeks into the future in a very hopeful way. It’s the story of a group of young musicians from Florida — let’s be honest and call them kids! — who come together to become a jazz band, a swinging community that wins the Essentially Ellington competition.
Here’s a trailer, which should certainly make you smile:
The film’s official website, http://chopsthemovie.com/, has all the information you need — where it’s screening, and more. I don’t normally endorse anything having to do with Facebook, a phenomenon which makes me nearly as anxious as does Twitter, but CHOPS also has a Facebook site, where you can find updates about the film –
What’s important to me is that these kids are thrilled by Charlie Parker, by playing good hot jazz expressively. Even the young saxophonist who admires Kenny G (much to the puzzlement of one of his bandmates) — give him time. He’ll discover Harold Ashby and Bud Freeman, Norris Turney and Happy Caldwell, Steve Lacy and Harry Carney eventually.
Go see CHOPS!