Director Sacha Jenkins’ documentary on one of the most enduring and influential musicians of all time, Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues, will debut on Apple TV+ on Friday, October 28.
The Apple and Imagine Documentaries film, announced in the spring of 2021, is described in a press release as offering “an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations.
“This definitive documentary…honors Armstrong’s legacy as a founding father of jazz, one of the first internationally known and beloved stars, and a cultural ambassador of the United States. The film shows how Armstrong’s own life spans the shift from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, and how he became a lightning rod figure in that turbulent era.”
Philadelphia native Jenkins’ credits as a producer-director include Fresh Dressed, Word is Bond, Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men, the TV mini-series Everything’s Gonna Be All White, and last year’s Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James, which portrayed the colorful life and times of the Motown punk-funk hero.
Jenkins told EUR of Armstrong: “As I did research and learned more and more about him, I realized there is no one like him, and his influence is something that has touched all of us – everyday people, every day of our lives. So the opportunity to tell that story was a great one for me.”
Reviewing the 106-minute documentary for the Hollywood Reporter after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, John Defore wrote that Jenkins is “undaunted by the complexity of his subject, plunging ahead with swagger and not worrying if we have unanswered questions at the end.
“A delightful experience for jazz buffs and more than an eye-opener for any youngsters who barely know who Armstrong was, it’s worth applauding just for its belief that it can meaningfully touch on private life, public persona, musical legacy and everything else – even if, on each front, it leaves one wanting more.”