Icons Among Us: Jazz in the Present Tense
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Icons includes much well-filmed footage of musicians performing and rehearsing in clubs and studios.These purely musical sequences are the major attraction of the program: they indicate what current jazz musicians are actually up to. --Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
The radical contribution of Icons Among Us is that it declares jazz to be not only a vital music, but also a cutting edge way of thinking. --Eric Benson, All About Jazz
Top Customer Reviews
The best commentary on the DVD is from Paul De Barros; he is absolutely right when he states Jazz was once connected to society, to civil rights movements (1950-60). John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, and other greats performers had something to say to society: "people we exist, we are black and this is our music, it is unique and good". At present some contemporary jazz groups do not seem to show any connection to society except for money. Of course society is changing and we live in a "brave new world" and no need to look back; all improvisation must be accepted, etc. That's a way of thinking, but unfortunately some "modern jazz" performers (not true musicians) think they can mix or add noise improvisation to jazz and call it "music",...and then expect we buy that kind of music.
I know where they went, and I can't get past the doorman to that club, at least not yet.
This documentary sat me - bolt upright! - in my recliner on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon. Whoa! I said to me. I got to get more of that. It's what I'm lookin' for and most of all I didn't fully know it was what I'm seeking.
So instead of asking Delite Rancher's question, I pose one of my own: Where are the cats who are playing on this documentary? Where do I go to find out? Like the Rancher, I'm in the Sonoran Desert and this isn't exactly 52nd Street. So where to I find where these cats are working?
And a hey howdy to Delite Rancher. He can reach me at laeva 65 (at) gmailcom
To the experienced follower of the music, the comments might seem less formulaic and tiresome were they balanced with a few more thoughtful, even "prepared" statements by interviewees who, while no doubt capable musicians wanting to sound authoritative, occasionally come closer to sounding like born-yesterday whiners. Scarcely any of those interviewed even acknowledges the proud and hard-won, unequivocally African-American legacy, which Ken Burns documented so well in his series for PBS ten years ago.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great look at younger musicians and the sentiments that keep pushing them into new territory. Should be a required follow-up to Ken Burns' much heralded series from the last... Read morePublished on August 22, 2013 by Kevin B. Lee
Well edited documentary done in an artsy way so that the viewer becomes acquainted with the mind-set of jazz musicians and understands what jazz IS. Inspirational artistically. . .Published on February 3, 2013 by hazel lentini