Jammin the Blues
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(Aug 23, 2005)
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NTSC/Region 0. This exceptional collection offers, for the first time in an economical series, the best filmed jazz material of all time! Legendary figures at the height of their creativity appear here, thanks to material of incalculable artistic value that today forms part of the human cultural heritage. In order to put together this incomparable selection of masterpieces, well known artists have been chosen such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Nat 'King' Cole, Duke Ellington, Lester Young, Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, B.B. King & Keith Jarrett. With the concurrence of the new format DVD and the latest technological advances, the recovery of these images constitutes an authentic happening for jazz and blues fans, who now have something so esthetically satisfying available that previously was unimaginable in terms of quality and clarity. In the Stars of Jazz Collection both diehard aficionados of these musicians as well as jazz lovers in general who are constantly on the lookout for new enriching experiences will find, without a doubt, the best visual and auditory legacy which has been bequeathed to us by the great mythical names of jazz and blues. 10 tracks. Rhapsody. 2005.
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- musical film that tries to recreate the atmosphere of jazz jam-session (with Lester Young, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Illinois Jacquet...)
- two numbers of Count Basie's orchestra, with a nice Jimmy Rushing vocal on Take me Back Baby
- several tracks of a brilliant Basie sextet (featuring Buddy DeFranco and Clark Terry) plus great and charming vocalist Helen Humes
However, the quality of footage (restoration and transfer) is far from impeccable and, just like another user at this site, I also had trouble playing the DVD, so it might be more than coincidence (one of my DVD players played only firts 13 seconds of the DVD, the second player was, fortunately, more willing to give me my Prez and Count...).
BTW- some criticize Gjon Milli's great musical film Jammin' the blues because it is not a real jam-session, but the music is so great it really doesn't matter... Even the fact that you hear Young's sax while on screen he holds it on his knees...
So, buyers, have caution..,
The DVD includes the original film, some 10 minutes long, in a very good quality presentation. To provide more value, the disk also includes seven 1940's Count Basie tracks, in varying quality, but of considerable interest. Although the packaging highlights Lester Young, who is the principal player in the original movie, he does not appear in the seven Basie tracks.
If this is the only way to get the film, it's worth it, and the Basie is an extra plus.