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Syncopation Blu-ray Review

Syncopation blu-ray

“Syncopation” will appeal to Jazz aficionados.

In 1942’s “Syncopation,” director William Dieterle takes viewers on a Jazz centric journey from New Orleans to Chicago as he charts the music genre’s evolutions through a series of characters that include an ahead of his time improv cornet player (Reggie), a young pianist (Kit), and a talented trumpet player (Johnny). Of course, there’s some romance between Kit and Johnny that has been thrown in for good measure.

With an unusual story structure and an engaging depiction of the various jazz styles that were formed, “Syncopation” is an ambitious little seen gem of a classic film that has thankfully been given its first home video release on Blu-ray and DVD by Cohen Films.

Now, before you hit the buy button, it should be noted that the film has its fair share of flaws. The cheesy soap opera style theatrics, the sometimes clumsy scene transitions, and the truly groan worthy court verdict scene may be off putting to some. Despite those issues, however, “Syncopation” still manages to be a refreshing little trip into the past thanks in part to the great jazz music (including cameos by musical legends such as Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and Charlie Barnett) and enduring themes about creativity, love, and following your dreams.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? This is an incredible 2K restoration. The clarity of the B&W image is especially impressive considering the film’s age.

Audio Track: PCM 2.0. How does it sound? The dialogue is a little low for my taste, but the music soars whenever it’s playing.

Extras:
* Cohen film trailers and a 2015 trailer for “Syncopation.”
* A booklet with photos, cast and credits.
* 9 jazz centric short films titled “Symphony In Black,” “Rhapsody In Black and Blue,” “St. Louis Blues,” “Cab Calloway’s Hi De Ho,” “Bundle Of Blues,” “Hoagy Carmichael,” “Artie Shaw’s Class In Swing,” “Jazz A La Cuba,” and “Black and Tan Fantasy” featuring musicians such as Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday. Well worth watching for jazz fans (especially the fun Cab Calloway short).

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February 17, 2015 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , ,

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