An older man is driving along to a meeting when he recalls the days of his youth as a member of a group of young musicians in the early 1950s, practicing jazz numbers in basements or wherever one could safely play this forbidden music. The group performs traditional songs to make a living, but as soon as the more conservative watch-dogs leave, they break into jazz renderings -- to the delight of most of the crowd and the disapproval of some. Sometimes they are taken in for questioning by the authorities, but always released after yet another admonition. That Was Jazz uses professional soundtracks for the music, a standard that is a bit high for the performances of the young musicians on the screen.
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