23 November 2020 | MehoKnicks
An old, illegal loft is used by colorful characters for endless jam sessions and the formation of bohemian culture. The maestro is a celebrated photographer, who loves jazz an
In spite of its title, this documentary is really more about Eugene Smith than the Jazz Loft, with long, meandering episodes that have nothing to do with the loft whatsoever (including Smith's Pittsburgh assignment, his country home, his wartime photography, etc.). But even as a photographer biopic, it's fairly weak -- edited ADD style (like most docs today), and much as it doesn't let its jazz audio clips breathe, it also moves on from each photograph too quickly to allow the viewer to linger on it and take it in. A lot of hot air from talking heads, and I've never seen so few African American faces in a film about jazz--indeed, if it wasn't for Monk showing up late in the film, you might think jazz was a primarily white artform. The bright spot in the film is the brief dive into Monk's rehearsals with Hall Overton in preparation for the Town Hall Concert--the only time when the film actually pays attention to any subject matter long enough to give the viewer any insight into it.