Release Date: December 15th, 2006 (Quad Cinema)
Directed by Gary Keys.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about Duke Ellington, a famous jazz musician, a.k.a. The King of Jazz.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Reminiscing in Tempo will delight avid fans of Duke Ellington, but all those unfamiliar with him who wish to learn more about The King of Jazz before familiarizing with his music, will be a bit disappointed. Duke Ellington’s sister, Ruth, gathers together Duke’s friends and associates to celebrate his birthday, even after his death in 1974. Interviews with friends, jazz critics and singers put Duke up on a pedestal, so-to-speak. They discuss what makes him unique as a musician with plenty of soul and good spirit. Director Gary Keys includes some lively concert footage—and exclusive footage of him performing “Mexicansuite” in Mexico. These scenes certainly justify Duke’s talent and soulful music, particularly for those previously unfamiliar with his music. But what about everyone else who is familiar with it, but want to get to get to know him as a human being, not just as a musician. There’s very little background information to truly humanize him, so, beyond the concert footage, there’s not enough to keep you fascinated.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough insight into Duke Ellington’s life.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3
IN A NUTSHELL: Delightful concert footage, but not enough insight into Duke Ellington’s life to humanize him.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "R" Menu