Title – Keep On Keepin’ On (2014)
Director – Alan Hicks (feature debut)
Cast – Clark Terry, Justin Kauflin, Quincy Jones
Plot – A documentary that focuses on late Jazz legend Clark Terry and his friendship with blind musician Justin Kauflin as he looks to break into the Jazz scene.
“You can’t do it the easy way. You have to do it the right way”
Review by Eddie on 7/09/2015
An intimate and small scale documentary that chooses to focus on the personnel moments rather than the grand, Keep On Keepin’ On is a lovely look into the way music affects people’s lives and a fitting piece of memorability for the recently passed away Jazz legend Clark Terry.
Without professing to know much or in fact anything about the Jazz scene, Keepin On does a great job at making the audience feel a part of this musical movement thanks to Australian filmmaker Alan Hick’s steady direction and Clark’s wholly infectious love for the genre of music. Whether watching Clark in finely used stock footage or in his later bed ridden years, his knowledge and passion for Jazz is unwavering and his musical based friendship with blind piano player Justin Kauflin is a touching and poignantly captured relationship that is the heart and soul of this low key doco.
Justin is a likeable presence and his easy going banter with CT is a joy to behold. It’s clear to see that Justin’s appearance in CT’s life came at the opportune time and as CT begins to lose his vision due to years of battling diabetes the two Jazz loving men bond even tighter over there shared conditions and CT mentoring Justin to become the best he can be is both genuine and interesting. While much of Keepin On feels wholly legitimate and unflattering there are issues that stem from the fact you can’t help but feel as in most documentaries that your being ever so slightly manipulated and the fact that long time Clark friend and fellow musician Quincy Jones is the producer of this film, there’s high chance elements of this doco are not totally as they seem.
As a look at the importance and meaning behind music and friendships based around it, Keep On Keepin’ On is a must watch documentary that will be loved by many. It’s great to see the strength of the human spirit and endurance on show in such a manner and the talent that these two subjects possess musically is something worth beholding.
3 and a half late night musical jams out of 5