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They Died Before 40

Produced by howard e. fischer
Eight jazz musicians who died before the age of 40 - important contributions, how they lived & died
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Music, History, Social Issues, Minorities, and Arts

Many people may have heard of Charlie Parker, who died at 34. But others, such as Herschel Evans, who died before reaching 30, are very little known and their stories untold. For example, Jo Jones, drummer and an integral part of the Count Basie band for many years, has called Evans the greatest musician he ever played with. He said that Evans made everyone he played with better.
Who was this giant, what made him an important creative artist and why did he die so young? These are questions that this film will answer concerning Evans and many more. Also featured are Charlie Christian, Fats Waller, Jimmy Blanton, Bunny Berigan, Clifford Brown, Chick Webb and Chu Berry.
Others noted are Bix Beiderbecke, Fats Navarro, Oscar Pettiford, Eric Dolphy, Paul Chambers, Serge Chaloff, Sonny Berman, Frank Teschemacher, Lee Morgan and more than a dozen more.
Through their music, some film footage, photographs, reminiscences and expert discourse we learn more about these artists, develop an appreciation of their artistry and reveal how and why their careers were cut short.
This film will expand our cultural heritage for this internationally renowned art form.

in post-production
Running time
93 minutes


Production Details

United States

Distribution Details


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