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Norman Granz Jazz In Montreux Presents Count Basie Jam '75

65 customer reviews

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(Sep 21, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Norman Granz is one of the most important non-musicians in the history of jazz and no one has made a greater contribution to the staging, recording and filming of jazz concerts. This series of performances from the prestigious Montreux Jazz FestivalTM now makes a part of this legacy available on dvd for the first time. The "jam" is one of the great traditions of jazz and when you have a line up like this 1975 concert you can really see why. The great Count Basie is in charge of proceedings from the piano and is aided and abetted by the likes of Niels Pedersen on bass, Louis Bellson on drums, Milt Jackson on vibraphone and Roy Eldridge on trumpet and saxophone. It’s pure jazz magic.Billie’s Bounce Roy Eldridge, Count Basie, Johnny Griffin, Niels Pedersen, Louis Bellson & Milt Jackson Montreux blues I Johnny Griffin & Milt Jackson Lester leaps in Johnny Griffin, Milt Jackson Roy Eldridge, Niels Pedersen & Louis Bellson Montreux blues II Roy Eldridge, Milt Jackson & Johnny Griffin

Swing, blues, and improvisation--the central components of jazz--are in full effect on Norman Granz Jazz in Montreux Presents Count Basie Jam '75. No one, but no one, could swing with more ease than pianist-bandleader Basie, who, as part of a rhythm section that also includes the great drummer Louis Bellson and bassist Niels Pedersen, provides rock-solid backing for the front line of trumpeter Roy Eldridge, tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin, and vibraphonist Milt Jackson. There are no frills here, and no surprises; we're watching six superb musicians jamming the blues, including two standards ("Billie's Bounce" and "Lester Leaps In") and two "Montreux Blues" improvised for the occasion. Griffin has a full, tough style reminiscent of Coleman Hawkins, while Eldridge is a bit more elliptical and Jackson (one of the instrument's two principal exponents in the 20th century, along with Lionel Hampton) is in typically fine form; all three solo at considerable length while the rhythm section swings tirelessly behind them. The visuals lack a certain crispness, but the remastered sound is excellent, and critic Nat Hentoff offers insight into the nature of jazz and the character and contributions of producer-promoter-label executive Norman Granz, a crusty fellow who was nonetheless an indefatigable champion of the music and the people who played it. Other than the musicians' wardrobes (it's a good thing their playing doesn't clash the way some of their shirts, jackets, and ties do, or the result would be sheer cacophony), there is simply nothing here for jazz fans not to like. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • Tracks: Billie's Bounce, Montreux Blues I, Lester Leaps In, Montreux Blues II
  • Portrait of Norman Granz, narrated by Nat Hentoff
  • Portraits by David Stone Martin
  • Pictures by George Brunschweig

Product Details

  • Format: Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002P193U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,642 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Warren Wen on April 17, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Here in this DVD you can appreciate Oscar Peterson at his prime. The performance is just brillant and inspiring as always--jazz virtuoso piano as good as it gets indeed.

The camera captured his finger works at amazing pace and grace form different angles. The picture quality is not as sharp as Trio '77 DVD but you soon forget about it once the music starts. Both Trio '77 and Solo '75 are supreme performance but in solo'75 you really can see how good his left hand is compared to most other jazz pianists. By the way,the CD "Solo: Live" is another must have for all O.P fans as Oscar Peterson really plays when doing the one man show. This is also the only video footage I have seen so far including the Blues Etude--one of his early composition( in the last segment of the show but did not mentioned in the song title).

I am still waiting for the release of Oscar Peterson In Tokyo(1983)previously released by Pioneer Laser Disc. That will be the show to watch--with Joe Pass,Niels Pedersen and Martin Drew.
But berfore that, get both 1975 and 1977 show.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Vic Chester on September 17, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I just received the Oscar Peterson Trio '77 DVD which is part of the Norman Granz Jazz In Montreux series. I must admit at first I was skeptical about what I would be receiving for a price of under $10. Well, I am more than pleased with this excellent representation of Oscar during his prime years. The video starts with three solo selections by Oscar, a very neat arrangment of Falling in Love with Love (unlike recent recordings with the quartet), Old Folks and Indiana. The master of the ivory's is then joined by not one but two of the finest bass players around, Niels Pedersen and the late Ray Brown. Each take sections on the remaing six tracks along with Oscar's lightening fast playing.

If you are an Oscar fan you will appreicate the left hand work performed in stride fashion and the 32nd or perhaps 64h note playing by the right hand. There is no drummer on these recordings and with the amount of music generated by Oscar, Ray and Niels it's not missed.

I highly recommend this addtion to your OP collection.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck on June 9, 2007
Format: DVD
Mary Lou Williams is probably the greatest female Jazz instrumentalist in the history of the music. This concert from 1978 give the chance to see her playing solo.

The predominant style here is blues and gospel which was probably where her roots were anyway. She was however an extremely versitile musician so you will also hear rhapsodic moments along with fast stride and even hints of more modern playing styles (such as on Over The Rainbow). Remember Mary Lou Williams once played with Cecil Taylor.

The full list of tunes played is:

Medley: The Lord is Heavy/Fandangle/N.G. Blues/For the Figs/Baby Bear Boogie/Roll'Em

Over the Rainbow

Offertory Meditation

Tea for Two

Little Joe from Chicago

The Man I Love

What's Your Story Morning Glory

Honeysuckle Rose

This is a tremendous solo Piano performance by a Jazz great.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert H. Bruno on October 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From 1960 through 1986, I've been the lucky audience member of over a dozen Ella concerts (certainly would have gone to more, if they were available - location wise). To this end, I feel that I've developed the essential experience to critique Miss Fitzgerald's performance.

We'll start with near the end first. I heard Ella perform "Flying Home" in Boston around the same time of this recording. I felt like I was viewing the same performance of one of her most fantastic scat sessions - and there have been many - "How High the Moon", "Lady Be Good", "Stomping at the Savoy." "Basella" was a variation of Ellington's "C-Jam Blues" which Ella has done in prior concerts with similar and exciting aplomb - she coaxes the best out of her co-performers and they coax the best out of her.

The first five tracks, backed by the Basie "congregation" (Ella refers to this as orchestra - I think it's a band), are well crafted and executed performances by Ella and the band. The combo sessions follow with a superb version of "Dindi" which offers a far better reading of this song in comparison to her Jobim songbook offering.

There is so much offered in this recording. I would only hope that, somewhere, there is more recorded Ella to enjoy.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Eno on March 1, 2005
Format: DVD
... as in "jazz", there should be a picture of this DVD alongside the definition, because when Ella and the Count Basie stable of supremely talented musicians get going, this is out of SIGHT. Ella was still swinging strong in '79; some say she was actually at the apex of her career, and this performance is fine support for that argument.

The title *is* misleading, as Count Basie is only stage for a few numbers, but for my money this is worth it just to have one of the best Ella performances ever in your personal library. Cheaper than a concert ticket, and you can watch it over and over and over again ... which you will, if you are a fan of the First Lady of Song.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A C SHIELDS on May 3, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I bought this liking both Ella and Basie and whilst it would have been good to have more Basie , at least his band swings beautifully . Just hearing Ella sing "Sweet Georgia Brown" on this DVD makes me feel glad to be alive . She takes a lot of chances whilst singing and obviously loves what she's doing .

She doesn't ignore the audience like some jazz performers do .

One reviewer wrote that Ella was past her prime when this was recorded . If so , I would rather she was still around as not many other current singers do it for me like Ella does .

Most record companies have big marketing budgets , but are the 'artists' worth your hard earned ?

Picasso was an artist , like Ella . They communicate .

Without needing to dance .

If you love great singing , this will give you goosebumps . Buy and enjoy .
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