I thought that one of the strengths of "Icons Among Us" was that just about everybody who should have been included in this film was. That written, you never really get everybody and then there are simple differences in opinions. I think Charlie Hunter is the biggest omission. That written, his absence is eased by the inclusion of his former band mate Will Bernard. I also would have preferred for the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (Reed Mathis and Brian Haas) to have received the screen time that was given to Skerik. When it comes to the European scene, there's much to report. I think that the topic was given enough screen time, but Eivind Aarset and Nils Petter Molvaer would have made strong contributions. Perhaps John Zorn should have been featured? In a perfect version of the film, who do you think didn't make the cut as an icon among us?
Actually (this is one of the filmmakers weighing in) we cover Charlie Hunter & JFJO in four-part series which is airing on the Documentary Channel now. I believe the last episode (Everything Everywhere) of our four-part series airs this Thurs. at 8pm ET/PT on Dish or and DIRECTV. Charlie is featured in this episode. As to Europe, we go into greater detail on the Europe scene in this episode also! However the names you mentioned (Elvind & Nils) were not part of our discussion. We wish we had more time in Europe but alas I think that is the case with just about everything we did. One last note is the four-part series (one hour each episode) will be available next year on VOD and DVD around New Orleans Jazzfest time. We are working to put a record together (soundtrack or and original music) and a book (jazz field guide) for that time too. That has not been announced, so you are really the first to know about the planning stages. Stay in touch via facebook at www.facebook.com/iconsamongus. Also, catch James Farm, we just checked them out and they are working a record in August. They are unreal.
Wow, thanks for your thoughtful, detailed and timely response! I can't wait to watch the four part series. The film really did a wonderful job of including just about everybody who should have been covered. As you write, there's always interest in going deeper. The fans who are into this sort of music crave depth and the sort of treatment that you're giving. I appreciate the links and I plan on checking out James Farm. Thank you for your efforts . . . doing such a project is long overdue!
For those following this thread, I got to meet John and watch part of the "Icons Among Us" version that he discusses in his post. The four parts are arranged thematically with 'A Quite Revolution,' 'Notes in Real Time,' 'In the Spirit of Family' and 'Everything Everywhere.' From what I saw, these parts form an unabridged version of the documentary. So the series offers a look at the scene that is both broader and deeper than what could fit into any single film. After one of the viewings, a live trio even performed in the screening room to exemplify the episode's theme. Cool stuff! Not having access to the Documentary Channel, I can't wait to get the four part series on DVD so that I can watch the entire experience at home. John, thank you again for working to create the series and sharing the fruits of your labor with the High Sierra community!
I haven't watched this - YET, but from having read people's reviews, it sounds to me like a few major hitters may have been missed. Ever heard of The Bad Plus? If you haven't, I'd be shocked; and if you have, how could they not be included??? Others that spring to mind who were not among the reviewers' lists include Christian McBride and Joshua Redman (both of them great musicians AND leaders in their own rights... AND erstwhile collaborators with Brian Blade; and how about someone who is criminally underappreciated as a modern-day guitar virtuoso and a pretty good composer too, Kevin Eubanks? Okay, so he doesn't do "traditional jazz" but isn't that the point of the doc? Check out his CD, "Spirittalk 2" if you're among the uninitiated... both outrageous and beautiful; like an acoustic Mahavishnu Orchestra, updated... and with great trombone (Kevin's brother, Robin) and flute added to the ensemble... Having got that off my chest, it sounds like they've done a great job anyway, so kudos and thanks to them (in advance - that is, if they're still checking out these posts). And to Delite Rancher; thanks for a great review... can't wait to check it out!