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Videos

Jazz is not only heard but also seen—read our critics’ takes on live videos and documentaries.

Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer

While peers and critics have no qualms about equating her with Ella, Sarah and Billie, Anita O’Day’s passing in 2006 at age 87 was met with relatively little fanfare by the mainstream media, which is all the more reason to savor this engrossing documentary. O’Day’s gifts as a vocalist were unassailable. Preferring the word “stylist” … Read More “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer”

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Jack DeJohnette & Don Alias: Talking Drummers: A Journey Of Music, Friendship And Spirit

While their paths have crossed in different contexts over the past 27 years-they played together briefly in 1971 in Miles Davis’ band and Jack later hired Don to play traps in his first band as a leader, Compost-these two stellar rhythmagicians have never gotten it together as profoundly as they do on this extraordinary video. … Read More “Jack DeJohnette & Don Alias: Talking Drummers: A Journey Of Music, Friendship And Spirit”

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Renee Rosnes: Jazz Pianist

This warmly composed tape successfully captures the pianistic brilliance of Renee Rosnes. As framed by the sensitive eyes and ears of director-producers Daniel Berman and David W. Brady, Rosnes’ probing improvisations are set against telling interviews that add to the viewer/listener’s appreciation. For example, the connection between art and life is made specific in the … Read More “Renee Rosnes: Jazz Pianist”

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Giovanni Hidalgo: In The Tradition

In The Tradition presents Giovanni Hidalgo explaining the basic conga sounds, tuning and typical conga, timbales, bongo and guiro parts for Son Montuno, Bolero, Charanga and Danzon. The emphasis is on thinking like a team, with relaxation and control. The tape concludes with a rousing finale, “Rumba Jam,” featuring special guest Changuito along with pianist … Read More “Giovanni Hidalgo: In The Tradition”

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Duck Baker: The Music of Thelonious Monk Arranged for Fingerstyle Guitar

This video produced by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop focuses on acoustic guitar arrangements by Duck Baker. Throughout, the instruction is interspersed with fascinating footage of Monk, but while the demonstrations are clearly filmed and often utilize split screen images, Baker’s verbal explanations could be a bit more technically oriented in terms of the keys, inversions, … Read More “Duck Baker: The Music of Thelonious Monk Arranged for Fingerstyle Guitar”

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: Masters Of The Blues

This fabulous video offers some rare glimpses of Chicago blues greats in peak form, delivering the real deal with goosebump intensity. Originally aired in 1966 on Canadian television, Masters Of The Blues brings together such greats as Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, James Cotton, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee for a … Read More “: Masters Of The Blues”

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Miles Davis: Dingo

This 1990 Australian film is cut from the same melodramatic cloth used by Hollywood for such jazz weepies as Young Man with a Horn. There is, of course, a moment of epiphany. Here, a boy (John “Dingo” Anderson) hears a jazz trumpeter, Billy Cross (Miles Davis), in an impromptu concert on a dusty outback landing … Read More “Miles Davis: Dingo”

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Bill Frisell: The Guitar Artistry of Bill Frisell

“The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Bill Frisell is constant surprise,” a thoughtful voice utters behind an opening Frisell montage. “He’s never predictable. He sometimes makes me think of Thelonious Monk.” These are sentiments that could have been expressed by any number of guitar greats. But since they are the words … Read More “Bill Frisell: The Guitar Artistry of Bill Frisell”

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