Jazz Definition: "If you have to ask, you'll never know."
Louis Armstrong when asked to define the rhythmic concept of "swing", quoted in Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz by John F. Szwed, 2000. ISBN 0786884967.
Jazz is an art form that touches individual souls worldwide. Rhythms from various international roots have played an influential role in the development of jazz. Blues, swing, Latin, bebop, cool, hard bop, third stream, avant garde, bossa nova, groove jazz, jazz fusion, smooth and contemporary, neo-classic, and vocalists jazz are different types of jazz that have entertained society for decades. Selected works were chosen in order to broaden one’s knowledge about the various components of this creative form of music. Several of the early film works highlight social and political events important to the development of jazz.
This mediagraphy is designed for high school, college and jazz enthusiasts interested in jazz commentary, history, and influential jazz artists.
Students of jazz can learn how jazz evolved and continues to morph as music exemplifies the richness of our culture. Audio, video and print material will assist users in gaining an understanding of the many ways jazz has contributed to the American fine arts. Jazz has a story to tell.
Criteria for selection is based upon resources which connect to the early foundation of jazz as an artform. Prominent jazz artists who significantly guided jazz as we recognize it today are sprinkled throughout this mediagraphy. Rare footage and recordings will provide coverage of early jazz history and current artists such as Chrisette Michelle are included to showcase the latest trends in jazz music. Product ratings were used as evaluative criteria for selecting audio and video sources from commercial sites.
Library of Congress Video and Audio Sources
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Duke Ellington--Reminiscing in Tempo.
LC Off-Air Taping Collection
Robert Levi Films/WGBH, 1992.
Director/Producer: Robert S. Levi; Screenwriters: Robert
S. Levi, Geoffrey Ward; Camera: Neil Reichline.
Telecast: PBS, February 8, 1992.
89 mins., color, 1/2" videocassette. VAB 9716
A chronicle of social change, this film examines Ellington's subtle
role in fighting segregation in American society and in challenging
the reign of prejudice. It follows his early travels across a
landscape of segregation and through the rise of the civil rights
movement in the Sixties. As his music crossed over to white
audiences, he helped advance the cause of racial equality through
an awareness of black heritage. This feature documentary reveals
this aspect of Ellington's life through interviews, home movies and
rare performance footage.
AMERICAN MASTERS. Celebrating Bird--The Triumph of Charlie Parker.
LC Off-Air Taping Collection
WNET New York/Toby Byron Multiprises/Sony Video Software
Co./Pioneer Artists, 1987.
Directors: Gary Giddins, Kendrick Simmons; Writer: Gary
54 mins., black & white, 1/2" videocassette. VAA 4750
Peggy Lee, accompanied by her then husband, guitarist Dave Barbour,
and a rhythm section that features pianist Hal Schaefer, offers "I
Don't Know Enough About You," "I Only Have Eyes for You," "It's a
Good Day," "Manana," "What More Can a Woman Do?," "While We Were
Young," "Why Don't You Do Right" and "You Was Right, Baby." Mel
Torme performs the standards "April Showers," "You Ought to Be in
Pictures" and his original "Trouble Is a Girl," with accompaniment
by Al Pellegrini on piano and Tommy Tedesco on guitar. June
Christy sings "All God's Chillun," "He's Funny That Way" and
"Imagination" with the Ernie Felice Quartet and pianist Claude
Williamson. All performances were filmed in 1950.
JAZZ CASUAL. Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.
KQED for National Educational Television, 1963.
Director: Richard Moore; Producers: Ralph Gleason, Dick
Telecast: NET, April 3, 1963.
29 mins., black & white, 1/2" videocassette. VAB 9169
A program of music (with an excerpt of "Gillespiana") and a
discussion centering on composing, arranging and blues as the basis
of jazz. Gillespie demonstrates how he combines instrumental
techniques with feeling. Personnel: Robert Cunningham, Gillespie,
Chuck Lamplin, Lalo Schifrin and Leo Wright. Hosted by Ralph
Video and Audio Resources I Am by Chrisette Michelle
$10.99 ASIN: B000Q364KG
Release Date: June 19, 2007 Def Jam Label
Chrisette Michele is grand. She possesses a timeless sound and already has held her own while working with musical heavyweights: Appearing on the chorus on Jay-Z's "Lost Ones" and a handful of hooks on Nas' "Hip-Hop is Dead," Michele's jazzy vibrato endowed those tracks with the element most rappers try to capture by sampling old-school tracks.
On her debut album "I Am," Michele, who co-wrote every track, does an exceptional job of traversing the "then" and "now." On "Good Girl," the twentysomething Long Island native tackles what makes a man golden - cash falling short of conversation - like a Strong Island version of Lady Day. Michele's voice resonates when poured over a gritty beat, such as on "Let's Rock"; sounds rich on the bossa nova-inspired "Best of Me"; and soothes on the acoustic-driven and lullaby-ish "Your Joy."
On "Be OK," produced by and featuring will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas, Michele sings "Imma take my Lexus to the mall, Get a little black dress just because," but the song is less about retail therapy, and more about finding a new start after losing an old lover.
Chrisette Michele establishes herself, not as a superior version of the R&B singers already on the scene, but as the kind of artist who is, quite possibly, one-of-a-kind. ~ Melanie Sims, Associated Press
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: The rich violin backdrop on "Let's Rock" conjures up something from an old Western - but in a good way! Michele's query: "Wanna rock with the Chris on the microphone? I was studying Miss Billie, Miss Ella, Miss Sarah Vaughan," says loads about where she's coming from.
Chrisette Michele may be signed to hip-hop label Def Jam and she may have sung hooks in the past on songs by the rappers Nas and Jay-Z, but she proves on her debut album, I Am, that she's definitely an R&B artist through-and-through. Chrisette, whose singing style evokes comparisons to Erykah Badu, Billie Holiday and Jill Scott, has put together an album that contains the fresh, sunny optimism of the young, but is wrapped in an old-school sound, style and sensibility.~Mark Edward Nero, About.com: R&B
Ladies Sing the Blues(DVD) Black and White format
$17.99 ASIN: B000050SLK
Release Date: October 30, 2001
This acclaimed compilation brings together full-length, rare performances from the great ladies of song: Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Peggy Lee, Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Ethel Waters. Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as "a grand parade of American miracles," "Ladies" captures the excitement of the most distinctive female vocalists in Jazz. ~ Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant-March 8, 1990
The most moving vignette shows Billie Holiday... a clip that records one of the greatest moments jazz has ever had…
Airto & Flora Purim:The Latin Jazz All-Stars (DVD) Amazon www.amazon.com
$19.99 ASIN: B000GAKE00
Release Date: June 26, 2006
"This is one great program." - Jazziz Magazine
This concert performance was recorded while Airto and Flora Purim played at one of the Queen Mary Jazz Festivals. Master percussionist Airto Moreira pours his talents into this mix of Brazilian music that frequently makes audiences jump to their feet and start dancing. Flora Purim, a multi-octave vocalist, provides viewers with a sampling of tunes that fully compliment her voice. Sax great Joe Farrell regularly joins in, further enlivening the percussive sets.
~ Elizabeth Smith, NYTimes
Joe Williams with George Shearing: A Song is Born (DVD)
$19.98 ASIN: B0002YAX70
Release Date: August 25, 2004
"...This is classic Joe Williams...people who like their jazz smooth will especially enjoy..."- Jazz Notes
Simply because Joe Williams is -- as the latest Down Beat critics' poll indicates -- the preeminent male jazz vocalist working today, the release of his first new video in nearly a decade is an event. Whether caressing the words of the ballad ''A Child Is Born'' or taking a more astringent, declamatory approach on his tour de force, ''The Comeback,'' Williams' musical instincts are unerring. You can overlook the roughness that, at age 73, occasionally crops up in Williams' voice on this tape (a live performance at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif.). Harder to overlook, though, is the incongruously genteel piano accompaniment of George Shearing, which undermines the impact of Williams' exuberantly sexual blues numbers. Pairing Williams with Jay McShann, Gene Harris, or the Basie Band would pack greater wallop. But this tape will have to do, until the real thing comes along. ~Chip Deffaa, Entertainment Weekly
Nancy Wilson At Carnegie Hall (DVD)
Barnes and Noble www.barnesandnoble.com
$24.99 UPC: 033909231794
Release Date: 1989
Nancy Wilson makes every song uniquely her own. This 1987 JVC Jazz Festival concert, taped at New York's famed Carnegie Hall, showcases her distinctive amalgam of sensitive phrasing, secure intonation, and strong Jazz feeling. Featured are duets with Carl Anderson. JazzTimes reported: "...this is a flawless video, both technically and artistically." "Her intonation is faultless, her pulse sure and deft turning of a phrase emotionally convincing." - The Washington Post
The Verve Story, 1944-1994 (Box Set 4 CDs)
$50.98 ASIN: B0000046TS
Release Date: March 22, 1994 Verve Music Group
For his tireless, effective, and classy promotion of first-rate musicians, Norma Granz must surely be one of the great cultural influences of our century, even if no one but jazz types know of him. More admirable (because courageous and selfless)is that he absolutely forbade racial segregation in his audiences and for his musicians. Granz was famous for making sure that ALL his musicians received first-class treatment, without distinction.
And what first-class music his people made! From the "Jazz at the Philharmonic" series to his long tenure with Verve (which he founded), Granz brought together the very, very best jazz musicians, under the best conditions, and let them play what moved them.
This collection is a fine, fine introduction to what Granz accomplished--and extraordinarily fun to hear.
If you're looking for a great intro to jazz, you could do worse than to start here. (For pedagogical purposes, Ken Burns' five-CD set, "The Story of America's Music," is more comprehensive, and it has much to commend it. Listening to that set, though, requires an interest in being educated, as much as an interest in listening to jazz--some of the discs are jarringly uneven in tone, mood, style, and sound quality. ~Bob Francher
Images Jazz Film Series 2000 For the fifth year in a row, the Library is presenting a series of films in January about major jazz figures in its Mary Pickford Theater.
Jazz in Film Bibliography – Performing Arts Encyclopedia (Library of Congress)
Annotated guide to over 600 jazz performances on film and video in the collections of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
Musical Living Legends (December 2003)- Library of Congress Information Bulletin
When James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, bestowed the Living Legend Award on jazz pianist Dave Brubeck and folksinger Odetta, on Oct. 1 and Nov. 13, respectively, they were the latest in a succession of ...
Pearl Bailey collection-Performing Arts Encyclopedia
Papers, photos and recordings of the unique entertainer and singer.
http://www.loc.gov/performingarts/encyclopedia/collections/bailey.html Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz: Selected Bibliography
More than 1,600 photographs of many of the greatest names in jazz are now available online in "William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz."
Rare Jazz Film Series (September 30, 1996) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin
On Oct. 17, jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald is featured in the first of a free series of rarely seen jazz films and videos that will be shown through Dec. 19 in the Mary Pickford Theater.
“Jazz Music” created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson is a plethora of information relating to jazz music. Included is a vocabulary grid with links which educators will find useful.
http://42explore.com/jazz.htm “JazzWhat a Wonderful World” This site provides links to other resources that will support student learning.
http://academics.uww.edu/cni/webquest/Fall02/jazz/Jazz%20Webquest%20Home.htm “Jazz Radio Program: A Webquest for High School Jazz Band Students” challenges students to develop and hour long jazz radio program on various jazz styles.
Song of the spirit. produced and directed by Bruce Fredericksen.