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PBS to Air Jimmy Scott Flick

As we reported here a while back, a director named Matthew Buzzell has made a documentary about Jimmy Scott, one of jazz’s often overlooked master vocalists. Entitled Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew, Buzzell’s acclaimed work has made the film festival and art-flick circuit since its premiere at 2002’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. We don’t all live in towns equipped with art-theaters or blessed with film festivals, however, so the movie will come to the small screen and make its television premiere February 24, 2004 on PBS as part of the network’s ongoing Independent Lens series.

The film, which lifts its title from Scott’s 1955 debut LP for Savoy, is a biopic covering the singer’s whole life and features rare concert footage and interviews with the now 78-year-old Scott, family, friends and his biographer, David Ritz. Recounted in the film are Scott’s heartbreaking life and his resilience in the face of immeasurable adversities. Buzzell takes the audience on a journey that explains Scott’s hardships with record labels, family tragedies, his near-disappearance on the music scene and the artistic and commercial renaissance he began enjoying in the late 1980s.

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