Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Gerry Mulligan: Ralph J. Gleason’s Jazz Casual: Gerry Mulligan

It’s worth noting that Rhino has released three more videos from the landmark 1960s National Educational Television series. As with previous Jazz Casual videos, the music is first-rate, the interviews informative and insightful and, sadly, the packaging is embarrassingly slipshod.

Unlike many early television programs, these three black and white shows from 1963 and 1964 are not kinescopes; they were originally shot on two-inch videotape, and the image quality holds up quite well considering how quickly old videotape deteriorates. Syndicated music columnist Ralph J.Gleason hosted and co-produced the series, and part of its charm 36 years later is that it has the funky, low-budget look of a cable-access show. Like other NET programs from the ’60s, you can see boom mics, studio equipment and shadows in the frame, but it doesn’t matter because the focus is on music, not slick production values. For the viewer who has had their fill of tedious documentaries, it’s refreshing to see a straight-ahead-music program without artistic pretense, political agenda or other nonmusical distractions.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published