In 1999, I produced several webcasts live from Birdland for the now-defunct Global Music Network, including one night with the original Saxophone Summit, featuring Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, and David Liebman. I recently posted the group’s 25-minute, uncut version of John Coltrane’s “Locomotion.”
As you can see and hear, they were playing exceptionally well that night, but then again, they played that way every night. It’s not uncommon for such a configuration to result in a saxophone battle, with the participants inspired to try and top their collaborators. Not so here, as the collaboration inspired the three saxmen to ascend, musically. The joy of this collaboration was heartfelt.
But a 25-minute video on YouTube? Would anyone watch something that long in a medium that’s been dubbed short attention span theatre? Several days after I posted the video, a viewer named “Steeler360Nation” commented: “I did not want to listen to a 25 minute video, but I am glad that I did – One of the best jazz videos I’ve seen so far! – Keep up the great work, JazzVideoGuy, cause you are The Man!!”
Of course I appreciate the kind words, but I was curious to know more about this fan of a 20-minute performance video. YouTube registered users have the option to create a bio, of sorts, on their YouTube page and I found out that this gentleman, whose name is John, is a bio-chemist from Pittsburgh, whose musical favorites are Big Band, Swing, Classic Rock, Jazz, RB, Old School Rap. And he lists his favorite book as How To Explore Hyperspace and Other Dimensions of Time and Space.