Released late last year, this CD-ROM brings state-of-the-art computer graphics into your home for use as a means of discovering the broad history of jazz. Offering video footage, audio clips, interactive graphic menus, an original poetry presentation from Quincy Troupe, and several original compositions by Hancock with his piano trio, this collection could occupy hours and hours of your leisure time. As a reference, the video clips offer an opportunity to see artists such as Thelonious Monk, Roy Eldridge, Albert Ammons with Pete Johnson, Miles Davis and Carlos Santana perform before the camera.
The five-part poetry presentation runs for over five minutes, includes videos of dancers, and percussion, piano, and keyboard accompaniment. Hancock's small ensemble (mostly in the piano trio format) creates the mood and atmosphere of live club settings such as Birdland, the Onyx, the Three Deuces and the Lighthouse, during the interactive pick and choose session called Storyville. Hancock notes that some references point to the Storyville District in New Orleans as the location for the birth of jazz, so he opts to use a three-dimensional representation of Storyville as his "menu" for interaction.
From that starting point, you can scroll through the district and stop where you like; each selection offers an inside look at Storyville, as well as other references in the area of jazz. For example, one of the stops leads directly to a representation of The Lighthouse, with presentations from Shorty Rogers, Howard Rumsey, and others.
The Viewing Gallery is a set of audio and video clips about the people and issues in jazz; the clips range in length from 10 seconds to four and a half minutes. The audio clips include: Terence Blanchard talking about Billie Holiday's passion, Sleepy Stein discussing live broadcasting, Jelly Roll Morton performing "Murder Ballad," and Louis Armstrong singing "Dinah." The video clips include brief performances by: Wayne Shorter with Santana, The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, The Cotton Club Tramp Band, and Return To Forever. There are ninety-one brief biographical sketches with photographs, and more information, with updates, is available from the LivingJazz Web site . As the opening screen of the CD-ROM presentation states when the program starts up, "Technology. Live with it."