Texas Tenor: The Illinois Jacquet Story

From the opening shot of Texas Tenor, as a pair of weathered hands slowly place a moistened reed in an Otto Link mouthpiece, Arthur Elgort’s stylish film is an absorbing portrait of Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet, last of the white hot Texas tenor titans. Elgort creates a montage of performances at New York’s Blue Note, strolls through Paris, archive footage and interviews with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Milt Hinton and others to reveal the multi faceted persona of the film’s subject. There’s a sensational reprise of his 1942 hit Flying Home, with Lionel Hampton, and Jacquet talks at length about the influence of Count Basie. Shot in black and white, every scene is redolent with colourful anecdotes, and Jacquet emerges as one of the music’s most charismatic figures.

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