For many, the name "Jackie Paris" might not be a familiar one. Even older jazz enthusiasts might not be able to acknowledge the unheralded genius of this male vocalist, but wait! From Outsider Pictures, distributed by Naxos America, filmmaker and jazz musician Raymond De Felitta presents ‘Tis Autumn The Search for Jackie Paris, a loving tribute and documentary about male vocalist Jackie Paris, and the ups and downs of his outstanding and somewhat unrecognized life.
In 1991, De Felitta was listening to a jazz radio station playing an old record, a sort of musical drama by a singer telling bar patrons what the blues really felt like to him The song that ensued was "Paris in Blue," an early ‘50s song by Charles Mingus, being sung by Jackie Paris. Paris’ vocals really knocked De Felitta out, and thus began his quest to discover all about this unknown-to-him vocalist.
It led him to discover that Down Beat magazine had voted Jackie Paris the Best New Male Singer of 1953. These were during the years when jazz exploded in clubs on New York’s 52nd street, when jazz was "all that" and ballads and bebop filled the airwaves. Further to his investigation, De Felitta learned that Paris was the preferred vocalist for Coltrane, Parker, Monk, Gillespie and Hampton and well-loved by Nat "King" Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald.
After intensely searching for albums and information on Jackie Paris, and a Clayhorn’s Biographical History that listed Jackie Paris’ death in 1977, imagine De Felitta’s surprise when reading an article in a 2004 New Yorker magazine that announced the Jazz Standard’s upcoming performance of the 79-year old Jackie Paris.
Filled with interviews by a host of jazz legends including Dr. Billy Taylor, James Moody, Anne Marie Moss, Mark Murphy, George Wein, and live footage of this remarkable talent, ‘Tis Autumn The Search for Jackie Paris is a stunning documentary of discovery, promise, heartbreak and life.
To be released March 31, 2009.
Outsider Pictures, distributed by Naxos of America