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‘Jazz Icons Series 5’ DVDs Set for Release Next Month

Coltrane, Monk, Kirk, Hubbard, Blakey and Johnny Griffin filmed live

Johnny Griffin
John Coltrane [photo credit: Roy Thompson]
Art Blakey c/o Gretsch Drums

The fifth series of Jazz Icons® DVD releases will be available next month as a six-disc set available exclusively through Mosaic Records. Produced by Reelin’ In The Years Productions, the latest in the ongoing series includes six titles, all of which were filmed in France from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, featuring performances from John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

Mosaic will start shipping sets on November 1. The new series brings to 36 the total number of titles released under the Jazz Icons banner.

Each program features full-length concert performances, transferred from the original master, and each features rare performances that have never been officially released on home video; some were never broadcast. Each DVD was produced with the full support and cooperation of the artists or their estates and includes a 12-page booklet with an essay as well as rare and unseen photos.

The set’s component titles include:

John Coltrane-Live In France 1965, filmed at the Antibes Jazz Festival on July 26th and 27th of that year. Coltrane’s quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones performed “A Love Supreme” at the show, the first and only public performance of the masterpiece.

Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers-Live In France 1959 was shot at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and is notable for the fact that it marked the debut of two new members of the group: Wayne Shorter, tenor sax and Walter Davis Jr. on piano. The band also featured Lee Morgan on trumpet and Jymie Merritt on bass.

Thelonious Monk-Live In France 1969 was filmed at ORTF TV Studio in Paris in December of that year and spotlights the pianist performing solo-no audience, no sidemen, no emcee, no set list, for 65 minutes.

Johnny Griffin-Live In France 1971 includes both a live performance by the tenor saxophonist at Jazz Festival de Châteauvallon on August 29, 1971 as well as a TV studio concert shot in Châteauvallon a few weeks earlier. Griffin’s quartet-Art Taylor, drums, Vince Benedetti, piano, and Alby Culliaz on bass-is joined on stage by guest artist Dizzy Gillespie on “Hot House” and “A Night In Tunisia.”

Freddie Hubbard-Live In France 1973 documents a March performance-also featuring Junior Cook on sax and flute, George Cables on piano, Kent Brinkley, bass and drummer Michael Carvin-at ORTF TV Studio in Paris.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk-Live In France 1972 is a 73-minute concert at the Grand Palais in Paris performed on March 8, 1972, with support from his Vibration Society (Ron Burton, Henry Pearson, Richie Goldberg and Joe Texidor).

Originally Published