Norman Granz at Montreux Jazz: Improvisation - Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald and More
In 1944 Norman Granz and Gjon Mili collaborated on a film about jazz music called Jammin The Blues. Highly
successful, it was nominated for the Oscar for Best Short Film and is described on the IMDB as Maybe the greatest film ever about jazz. In 1950 they collaborated again on a film about jazz improvisation that was never completed. This footage has now been combined with other film of jazz improvisation shot by Norman Granz at different times and locations to create this new film simply titled Improvisation . / Tracklisting:
Mili's Studio Sequence 1950 -
1) Opening Title 2) Ballade 3) Celebrity 4) Ad Lib
5) Pennies From Heaven 6) Blues For Greasy /
Duke Ellington at the Cote D'Azur -
7) Blues For Joan Miro
Count Basie At Montreux Jazz Festival 1977 - 8) Nob's Blues 9) Kidney Stew 10) These Foolish Things / Joe Pass 1979 - 11) Ain't Misbehavin 12) Prelude To A Kiss / Ella Fitzgerald 1979-
13) Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me 14) I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good /
Oscar Peterson At Montreux Jazz Festival 1977 -
15) Ali & Frazier /
Disc One: Portrait of Norman Granz narrated by Nat Hentoff /
Portraits by David Stone Martin -
Disc Two: Extra rushes / Interviews about the Mili session / Interviews
about Charlie Parker / Photo gallery of Paul Nodler's pictures of the Mili
session / The original 1944 film Jammin The Blues
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To see and clearly hear Sid Catlett was a special treat for me, and the Parker footage makes me grin every time. Coleman Hawkins trading solos with Bird: kee-ripes the stuff of legends. Dizzy's scat solo. Basie breaking up the whole band with his sudden stride solo embedded within a minimalist line. A somewhat sad comparison in the playing of Lester Young in 1945 vs 1950, but still brilliant in decline. A saga continued on Jazz Masters: Vintage Collection - 1958-1961, another fine classic jazz collection with exceptional sound and video quality.
There is so much to tell I'll just mention something that struck me. I had never seen Zoot play a gig in this fashion. We got him to sit in at the Pirate Ship in Madison, WI in the 60s so I have seen him live and up close. He did not have any of the "white" West Coast or Lester Young phrasing. Here he sounds more like Sonny Stitt or Dexter Gordon.
What a unique treasure this film is for all of us!
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"Improvisation", the famous unfinished 1950 sequel to 1944 "Jammin' the Blues" is shown here in...Read more