Speakeasies, flappers, and easy money - it's the Jazz Age, when the story of jazz becomes a tale of two great cities, Chicago and New York, and of two extraordinary artists whose lives and music will...
This series explores the history of the major American musical form. We track its development in African American culture, its rise to prominence with its golden age of popularity spanning from the 1920's to the mid 1940's both in its original form and in Swing through its popular decline and the rise of vital new sub-genres into the present day. Along the way, we learn of the lives and work of major contributors to the form such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie "Bird" Parker and many others who helped form Jazz into the vibrant musical form it is. Moreover, we see how the music reflected the political and social issues of the African American community over the course of the form's history.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a compilation that is pretty much essential for those coming to the music for the first time, and will afford a lot of pleasure to those who have been listening for some time too. Some of the film clips are breathtaking: you ask yourself 'where did he find that?' The focus is on the great figures of Armstrong, Ellington, Parker and Billie Holiday, which is appropriate since these people did more than others to shape the course of the music over the last century, but many viewers will be frustrated by the glancing attention and even omission given to some musicians. Why was it not thought necessary to show 'Lockjaw' Davis, Johnny Griffin, Tadd Dameron, Red Garland, Art Pepper, Lee Konitz, Jo Stafford and many more? Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, where are they? It seems as though Winton Marsalis decided who the great ones were, and the worthy ones could be ignored.
I will praise the editors who took this huge mass of material and made something coherent and entertaining out of it. We must forever be in their debt. The way is now clear for some documentarist to make a series on jazz from 1960 to today.
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