Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the 1950s and '60s, Jackie Paris was one of the most celebrated jazz vocalists of his generation; he collaborated with such giants as Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Dizzy Gillespie, he was a favorite of leading music critics, and recorded for such top jazz labels as Impulse and East-West. But ten years on, Paris had fallen so far off the radar that a major jazz reference work reported that Paris had died in 1977, even though he was still around and occasionally performing at the time. In the 1990s, filmmaker Raymond De Felitta heard some of Paris' recordings and became an instant fan, and was deeply curious about Paris' life and career, and how an artist with such gifts had become little more than a footnote in music history. De Felitta's search eventually led him to Paris himself, and a fascinating story of bad luck, a wildly dysfunctional family, dangerous pride, a hair-trigger temper, and a remarkable voice that somehow survived it all, even if his career did not. 'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris is a documentary which chronicles De Felitta's search for the elusive singer; the film includes interviews with Paris' family, friends, and fans, including Dr. Billy Taylor, Billy Vera, Joe Franklin, Ira Gitler, Harlan Ellison, and James Moody. Frank Whaley, Nick Tosches, and Peter Bogdanovich contribute dramatic readings of reviews of Paris' work from his heyday.
career-retrospective, jazz, search, singer