The Complete Jazz Casual Series
One positive production note that may not be fully appreciated unless one takes them traveling or sends them overseas as a gift is the DVDs are in both PAL and NTSC formats, and compatible with virtually any player worldwide. The 32-page handbook provides basic information about the musicians, although more explanation of what they're playing and fewer "this is a great show not to be missed" comments would be nice.
The entire set costs $150 and is only available from a limited number of sources (ejazzlines.com among them). A handful of individual shows are more widely available for those on more limited budgets or who wish to sample the shows before making a full commitment.
Even though this series is shorter and more expensive than Burns' series, it is ultimately a better value. It took a few weeks to get through Jazz, watching an hour at a time almost as a disciplined academic exercise. I blew through the entire Jazz Casual series in a day, wanting to revisit a number of moments that gave me new insights into performers familiar and unfamiliar, but also wanting to see what the next musicians were up to. It's doubtful I'll revisit much of the Burns material unless there's some historical nugget I'm seeking, but Gleason's show is likely to get occasional and steady play when the mood and/or setting seems right for keeping an eye on the legends as well as hearing them.
John Coltrane Quartet (December 7, 1963):
John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); McCoy Tyner (piano); Jimmy Garrison (bass); Elvin Jones (drums).
1. Afro Blue; 2. Alabama; 3. Impressions
Sonny Rollins with Jim Hall (March 23, 1962):
Sonny Rollins (tenor saxophone); Jim Hall (guitar); Bob Cranshaw (bass); Ben Riley (drums).
1. The Bridge; 2. God Bless the Child; 3. If Ever I Would Leave You
B.B. King (May 9, 1968):
B.B. King (guitar); Mose Thomas (trumpet); Lee Gatling (tenor saxophone); James Toney (organ); Sonny Freeman (drums).
1. Please Love Me; 2. I've Got a Mind to Give Up Livin'; 3. Think I'll Move to the Jungle; 4. Darling, You Know I Love You; 5. That's Wrong, Li'l Mama
Gerry Mulligan Quartet (July 18, 1962):
Gerry Mulligan (baritone saxophone); Bob Brookmeyer (tromone); Wyatt Ruther (bass); Gus Johnson (drums).
1. Four for Three; 2. Darn That Dream; 3. Open Country; 4. Utter Chaos
Art Pepper Quartet (May 9, 1964):
Art Pepper (alto saxophone); Frank Strazzeri (piano); Hersh Hamel (bass); Bill Goodwin (drums).
1. The Trip; 2. D Section; 3. Untitled
Art Farmer with Jim Hall (January 10, 1964):
Art Farmer (trumpet); Jim Hall (guitar); Steve Swallow (bass); Walter Perkins (drums).
1. Change Partners; 2. Some Time Ago; 3. My Kinda Love; 4. My Little Suede Shoes; 5. Bags' Groove
Charles Lloyd Quartet (June 18, 1968):
Charles Lloyd (flute, tenor sax); Keith Jarrett (piano, soprano sax); Ron McClure (bass); Jack DeJohnette (drums)
1. Love Ship (C. Lloyd); 2. Tagore (C. Lloyd); 3. Passin' Thru (C. Lloyd); 4. Forest Flower (C. Lloyd)
Paul Winter Sextet (March 1, 1963):
Richard Whitsell (trumpet), Winter (alto sax), Jay Cameron (baritone sax), Warren Bernhardt (piano), Arthur Harper, Jr. (bass), Ben Riley (drums).
1. Bells and Horns (M. Jackson); 2. Port Au Prince Suite: Invocation To Dambala / Prayer / Pap Zimbi (W. Bernhardt); 3. Casa Camara (R. Evans); 4. The Thumper (J. Heath)
Bola Sete and Vince Guaraldi Quartet (September 25, 1963):
Bola Sete (guitar), Guaraldi (piano), Fred Marshall (bass), Jerry Granelli (drums).
1. Outra Vez (A.C. Jobim); 2. Tango El Bongo (G. Van Epps); 3. Tour De Force (D. Gillespie); 4. Star Song (Guaraldi-Siden); 5. Mambossa (Sete-Claudio)
Turk Murphy and The San Francisco Jazz Band (June 20, 1962):
Bob Neighbor (trumpet), Turk Murphy (trombone), Bob Helm (clarinet, vocal), Peter Clute (piano), Harold Johnson (tuba), Lloyd Byasse (drums)
1. 1919 Rag (Jouve-Terran); 2. Daybreak Blues (B. Helm); 3. Dr. Jazz (Oliver-Melrose); 4. Terrible Blues (C. Williams); 5. Sidewalk Blues (Morton-Melrose); 6. The Weary Blues (Cates-Greene- Mathews)
Woody HermanProgram I (Summer 1963):
Bill Chase, Dave Gale, Billy Hunt (trumpets); Phil Wilson, Henry Southall, Bob Rudolph (trombones); Woody Herman (clarinet); Sal Nistico, Jackie Stevens, Bobby Jones (tenor saxophones); Frank Hittner (baritone saxophone); Nat Pierce (piano); Chuck Andrus (bass); Jake Hanna (drums).
1. Molasses; 2. El Toro Grande; 3. Lonesome Old Town; 4. That's Where It Is; 5. Cousins
Program II (June 1, 1963):
Bill Chase, Paul Fontaine, Dave Gale, Gerry Lamy, Billy Hunt (trumpets); Phil Wilson, Henry Southall, Bob Rudolph (trombones); Woody Herman (clarinet); Sal Nistico, Jackie Stevens, Bobby Jones (tenor saxophones); Frank Hittner (baritone saxophone); Nat Pierce (piano); Chuck Andrus (bass); Jake Hanna (drums).
1. Taste of Honey; 2. My Wish; 3. Deep Purple; 4. Early Autumn; 5. Satin Doll; 6. Mood Indigo; 7. Blue Flame