At its core, A Jazzman’s Blues is a soap opera full of shocking secrets, emotional confrontations, and one exceedingly satisfying slap.The mystery aspects are thin; anyone with passing knowledge of Black American history can infer early on who was killed, why, and by whom.
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A Jazzman’s Blues is overindulgent, a narrative feast of twists and turns. The formidable work of the cast paces us, helping viewers digest the plot and saving Perry’s screenplay from the collateral damage of its broad scope.
A Jazzman’s Blues overflows with melodrama, yet it isn’t staged broadly. It’s closer to Perry’s version of a Douglas Sirk film, one that takes a romance and heightens it until the complications are growing and twisting around it like vines.
A Jazzman’s Blues is a passion project that climbs close to the edge of becoming self-indulgent fodder. The film is never as deep as it thinks it is. Nor is it terribly original either. But for Perry, this is a massive change. And while you shouldn’t praise a director for merely trying. Perry does more than try with “A Jazzman’s Blues.” He finally shows that he’s not a one-trick pony.
This is one of those movies where the soundtrack is far and wide the best element.