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News: TV / Film

Documentary: Ronnie Scott and His Club

Documentary: Ronnie Scott and His Club

You may not have played Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club as a musician or had the pleasure of hearing jazz artists perform there. And even if you have, who knows when you'll be back given the pandemic in Europe. For now, here's a solid documentary, Ronnie Scott and His World Famous Jazz Club, written and directed by ...

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News: TV / Film

Documentary: Post 398

Documentary: Post 398

I predict we'll soon be using the letters BP to broadly indicate a period in time that has past. During that period, the world stood a little closer, hugged a little more and did things like shake hands and share sodas. In 2019 BP (before the pandemic), there was a little place in Harlem where you ...

News: TV / Film

Norwegian Charlie Parker Documentary

Norwegian Charlie Parker Documentary

Last week, I shared with you a PBS documentary on Charlie Parker's years growing up in Kansas City. Today, I have another fabulous Parker documentary for you—this one directed by Jan Horne and produced by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. in 1989. It runs 3 1/2 hours. Here are all four parts of The Bird: Charlie “Bird" ...

News: TV / Film

Documentary: Bird in K.C.

Documentary: Bird in K.C.

Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kan., in 1920. When he was 7, his family moved to Kansas City, Mo. In fifth grade, Parker began playing the saxophone in school after the city put in force a music-education program. As he progressed, his mother bought him an alto saxophone in a pawn shop for $40. ...

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News: TV / Film

Documentary: Pittsburgh Jazz

Documentary: Pittsburgh Jazz

Erroll Garner, George Benson, Earl “Fatha" Hines, Ray Brown, Kenny Clarke, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Eckstine, Billy Strayhorn, Ahmad Jamal, Joe Negri, {{Johnny Costa and Mary Lou Williams all had one thing in common—jny: Pittsburgh, PA. They all grew up there along with other jazz greats. How did Pittsburgh come to be such a flourishing jazz center? ...

News: TV / Film

Documentary: Horace Parlan

Documentary: Horace Parlan

The response to my Horace Parlan post earlier this week was enormous. Parlan really was special and should be thought of as one of the Top-10 post-war piano greats. So why not another post on Parlan. Though I posted the following documentary some years back, I thought I'd post it again for the thousands of readers ...

News: TV / Film

Jazz Doc: Stéphane Grappelli

Jazz Doc: Stéphane Grappelli

European jazz starts with Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France Quintet. The violinist along with guitarist Django Reinhardt added Louis Vola on bass and Joseph Reinhardt and Roger Chaput on guitar. The group ended its run in 1939 with the onset of World War II. Grappelli was in London when war broke out and ...

News: TV / Film

Britain Plays the Blues

Britain Plays the Blues

How did all those British rock bands learn to play the blues in the 1960s and why were they so fascinated by the form? What was the unlikely impact of the Yardbirds, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann, John Mayall, Cream and other British bands introducing white audiences to the blues in the U.S.? Most ...

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News: TV / Film

Frech Doc: Bud Powell

Frech Doc: Bud Powell

To fully feel the beauty and grace of jazz at its highest level, you must appreciate the sadness that comes with the joy and the poetry that's baked into the music's history. They are one, like two sides of a coin. Virtually all of the exceptional jazz musicians had tragic sides, making one wonder whether greatness ...

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News: TV / Film

Documentary: Grant Green

Documentary: Grant Green

At his peak in the early 1960s, Grant Green was one of the most soulful, swinging jazz guitarists recording. Unfortunately, many of his albums weren't released until after his death in 1979. The business reasoning remains puzzling but the decision by Blue Note clearly had nothing to do with his playing. Green appeared on many albums ...


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