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Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons)
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The music here is "typical" big-band music of the time (reminiscent of Count Basie more than any other band), except that it is far better than most. The arrangements are both surprising and satisfying, going beyond cliches of the big-band style. The soloists are fantastic. Well known musicians such as Phil Woods (before he put on his cap), Quentin "Butter" Jackson, Budd Johnson, and Clark Terry play just as well as you expect them too. But for me the most interesting aspect of the DVD is the lesser known musicians who are captured here. Benny Bailey plays beautifully; after the band broke up, he stayed in Europe, and America was denied one of the great trumpet players of his generation. Melba Liston is best known to us now as an arranger, especially for Randy Weston. She is captured here playing in the trombone section and on a gorgeous solo on "My Reverie." I have read her name a hundred times but have never actually heard her play before (a search on Amazon gives zero hits to her name in the music category). The wonderful Sahib Shihab is another expatriate who spent most of his playing life in Europe and therefore is little known in the US. But his baritone sax work here is extraordinary.Read more ›
Of the films in the "Jazz Icons" series, this is the best produced and visually most arresting... Perhaps because Jones was living in Europe at the time, he had the opportunity to work closely with the filmmakers -- this show is full of obviously well thought-out, staged sequences and precise blocking, reminiscent in some ways of those old Cab Calloway shorts that used the grandeur of Busby Berkeley-style choreography... It's also more solidly "jazz" than a lot of Jones's later work, giving modern audiences a chance to see what all the fuss was about with this budding musical giant. Cool film.
The quality of the recording itself is quite good. The first half looks like a filmed studio date with no audience, shot with 3 cameras on (maybe) 16mm black and white film. The picture quality I give an A, sound quality a B. The second half is a live concert situation, probably also shot with 3 cameras, 16mm black and white film. The picture quality of this second half gets a B and the sound quality an A.
It is really rare to see a band of this quality presented so well on DVD. A real treasure.
The band itself was pretty good, but not the best you've seen and heard. The rhythm section was quite mediocre (the guitar can rarely be heard). French horn player Julius Watkins was given a lot of time to show off his boring chops. On the other hand, no one could complain about Phil Woods, Quentin Jackson, Jerome Richardson, Benny Bailey, and Clark Terry. This tape may contain the only example of a Melba Liston solo. Quincy's arrangements are well above average. The band leader himself just stands in front of the band, wiggling a lot through the numbers, displaying a truly ill-fitting jacket.
So buy it. If only for Phil Woods. But the film does not compete effectively with the other entries in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just purchased this dvd and I am very satisfied with the content and clarity of the video. It is that very good for its age.Published 9 months ago by Madcustomer
FINALLY I GET TO SEE WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO FOR OVER 40'S YEAR'S. WHAT A BIG BAND! PHIL WOODS,
BENNY BAILEY,JEROME RICHARDSON,SAHIB SHIHAB,JIMMY CLEAVELAND 18 MUSICIAN'S... Read more
What a great band Quincy put together. Of all the bands of that era that was one of the best.
Two of the three videos are of excellent quality, but one looks to be a kinescope copy, and the video is blurry and very contrasty. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by Ralph W. Short
I received this DVD as a gift and it is fantastic.You do not get music and professionalism like this today. What a wonderful series. I will order some of the others. Read morePublished on January 8, 2007 by Philip Brice