THE SAVOY KING: CHICK WEBB AND THE MUSIC THAT CHANGED AMERICA was picked by New York Magazine as one of "The Best Of The Fest" for the 50th New York Film Festival.
And today, Thompson on Hollywood / Indiewire has a piece on Tuesday's screening and panel (Landmark Jazz Doc 'The Savoy King'), with a wonderful tribute to Norma Miller:
See more via the link, but to start:
"The second best thing about this week's NYFF screening of The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music that Changed America might have been the audience -- a fire-hazard crowd of friends, family and jazz enthusiasts ready to laugh, hoot, and more than once, sing along to the music. But the first best thing was 92-year-old Norma Miller, a delightful presence both on film and live on-stage, where she joined director Jeff Kaufman for a lively but all-too brief Q&A."
PLUS, HERE ARE A FEW OF THE PRESS QUOTES FROM THE NYFF:
"Chick Webb's story is one of perseverance through hardship and dogged dedication to artistic instincts, as the pint-sized musician achieved fame through an unwillingness to be bowed by physical handicaps and a refusal - regardless of the initial difficulties such a stance entailed - to compromise his vision of what his band, and sound, should be.
The director weaves an aesthetic tapestry that puts most likeminded non-fiction efforts to shame, so gracefully capturing the atmosphere of the 1930s swing scene that the film truly earns the term "immersive."
It's a comprehensive documentary that never feels like a school lesson, conveying the rollicking spirit of its subject with a liveliness and joy that elucidates how an artist might, as in Chick's case, give everything - including his life - for his art."
- The Village Voice
"The Savoy King is a compelling blend of cultural and social history that shrewdly always keeps the music prominent in the mix. Although director-producer-writer Kaufman fully explores Webb’s many tribulations, it is a pleasure to revisit the early swing era in his company. Hip, sensitive, and thoroughly entertaining, The Savoy King is an obvious highlight of this year’s NYFF for jazz fans, but it is also highly recommended for general audiences."
- Libertas Film Magazine
"Two documentaries (at the NYFF) featured deal with the indelible effect of music on culture and history. I was particularly taken with The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America . . . This wonderful documentary is put together with creativity and love. I hope it travels to many viewers outside of the festivals.
"The result of a labor of love, The Savoy King is an American adventure story about a man whose indomitable talent combined with an iron will."
- Greg Thomas, The New York Daily News