Jazz at Netflix

Jazz at Netflix

I have been listening to a lot of Jazz now for a couple of years. Beyond my own collection, I hear great Jazz at WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, NJ and WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. What a joy it is now to be able to see some of my favorite artists in concert. The source of a lot of what I can find to view is Netflix, the video rental giant.

Here is a list of really good videos.

Al DiMeola “Live at Montreux 1986-1993”. Al DiMeola is wonderful on both acoustic and electric guitar.
Al DiMeola “One of These Nights”, recorded in Ludwigsburg, Germany, with a kick-ass band.

Calle 54 which means 54th St, is a wonderful exploration of Latin Jazz. It includes performances by sax player Gato Barbieri, Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet and fluglehorn, and his Fort Apache Band, Paquito D’Rivera, sax and clarinet, pianist Eliane Elias, Flamenco pianist Chano Dominguez, father Bebo and son Chucho Valdez both pianists, pianist Michel Camillo. So, lots of piano. This disc also includes “Side B”, a separate video in which the players are seen more in a documentary style. In this video, we learn the history of Latin Jazz and many of African and Carribean origins of the different rhythms are explained.

Charlie Haden and the Liberation Music Orchestra at the Festival International De Jazz De Montreal. Charlie Haden actually began as a bass player in Country music. But he is one of the most important Jazz bassists. He spent time with Ornette Coleman. He was part of Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet with Paul Motian and Dewey Redman.

Clark Terry Quintet at the St Lucia Jazz Festival. Trumpeter Clark Terry is just a joy to watch and to hear. Clark Terry has devoted a great deal of time to music education for young school age hopefuls.

Gato Barbieri:Live from the Latin Quarter. Ageless. That is all I can say about this wonderful sax player, so important in the world of Latin Jazz.

World of Rhythm:Live. This is a concert performance by the one and only Herbie Hancock, with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Cobham. This will put a smile on your face, just watching and hearing these three giants of Jazz.

Keith Jarrett: The Art of Improvisation. This is a wonderful documentary with lots of concert footage and good commentary. We see the Standards Trio, The American Quartet, The European Quartet, and a bit of Keith playing with Miles Davis. Keith speaks of not only improvisation but also about his life in general, and his bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is possibly the only footage of his concert in Japan with Chick Corea in the Mozart Double Concerto.

There are a number of videos of the Modern Jazz Quartet. I have not gotten to them yet, but they are on my list.

One Night with Bluenote: the All-Star Reunion Concert. This video comes from a 1985 Town Hall concert celebrating the resurrection of the Bluenote jazz label. The players include Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Grady Tate, Reggie Workman, Johnny Griffin, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Jackie McLean, Jack DeJohnette, Jimmy Smith, Stanley Turrentine and Cecil Taylor. What an outstanding collection on one stage – of course not all at the same time. These are just some of the people who made Bluenote so important in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Many of them were then involved in the rebuilding of this legendary label under the umbrella of EMI Music.

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus. This is a documentary about the great sax player with a great deal of performance footage. There is commentary from three important Jazz critics.It includes what seems to be the only record of his “Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra”.

Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser. There is no more mysterious figure in the history of Jazz than Monk. This film is a 1968 documentary which should not be missed.

This is just the stuff I have already seen, except the MJQ. While all of these videos are available on DVD disc, some can be viewed on the computer, some can be streamed direct to the big screen TV via the Roku box.