Jazz has been around longer than rock, hip hop, rhythm and blues, reggae and a lot of other tune styles so it’s great to see how the Smithsonian Institute every year promotes April as Jazz Appreciation Month. It seems to be one of those kinds of music that people either love or hate, or go from neutral where it’s concerned to acquiring a nonstop taste for it. It’s become such a butt-kicking powerful tradition that loads of books, films, and world-class events have been inspired by it. A lot of movies use jazz as background music but these could be called heavy hitters that give you people who made and lived the music. This list is some of the better ones I’ve found so far but I’m leaving it open for added suggestions. It contains feature films and a few documentaries.
"The Cotton Club" is a fun movie with a lot of talented people like tap dancer Gregory Hines and Richard Gere as a jazz cornetist. Picture Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and hot babe dancers at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance. see more on The Cotton Club
"Paris Blues" with black icon Sidney Poitier and white icon Paul Newman was radical for when it came out in 1961 but for modern times it’s just pretty cool. Plus Duke Ellington did the score. see more on Paris Blues
"Listen Up! The Lives of Quincy Jones." Most modern music lovers know Jones as the man who put the word "super" in Michael Jackson’s star when he produced Jackson’s Thriller album. see more on Listen Up! The Lives of Quincy Jones
Woody Allen has used a lot of jazz in a lot of films. "Midnight in Paris" won him an Academy Award for best original screenplay and just every review of this movie has talked about the jazz score featuring music by Sidney Bechet. Since the film is about a man who goes back in time to the Jazz Age and Allen himself plays jazz, it makes sense that the music is a big part of the story. see more on Midnight in Paris