Jazz Icons Gift Set

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by M. Henderson on 3/27/2007

This is an essential collection for any jazz fan. Most of the performances were originally recorded for European television in the late 1950's, 60's and 70's, when the performers were mature but still in their prime. The video footage has been beautifully restored despite the limitations of the source material. The sound quality is excellent. Each DVD is nicely packaged with vintage images and an informative booklet. The essay on Ella Fitzgerald, however, does contain a glaring error. When Ella suddenly breaks into a baby-like voice and starts singing "chee-chee" during her '57 performance in Belgium, she is paying homage to Rose Murphy, a sadly forgotten jazz singer who was widely known as "the chee-chee girl" in the 40's and 50's.

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Product Overview

A veritable goldmine of classic jazz artists--including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and Count Basie--are featured on this box set of Jazz Icons performances. Culled from previously unreleased footage of these artists performing in Europe in the 1950s, '60s, and '70s, the footage offers viewers of all ages an unparalleled opportunity to witness these legends in action. Lovingly assembled and presented, and including excellent liner notes, Jazz Icons Box Set is a historical and musical treasure.

The release of Jazz Icons™ is like the unearthing of a musical time capsule—an audio-visual treasure trove of the music that changed the world. From Big Band and Bebop to Dixieland and Cool, it’s all here and it all swings. These jazz legends, from Dizzy and Count to Louis and Ella, are the Bachs and Beethovens of our generation. From an educational standpoint this series is a gift to our culture. I’m honored to be a featured part of it, but I’m more thrilled just to sit down and watch it with my grandkids.- Quincy Jones

With Jazz Icons, TDK presents a DVD series featuring full-length concerts and studio performances by the greatest legends of jazz, filmed in Europe between 1957 and 1978 during one of the most creative periods in jazz history. None of these concerts have ever been released for home viewing before and, in some cases, the material was never even broadcast.

These filmed concerts capture the most pivotal and influential jazz artists of the 20th century in their prime - accompanied by some of the most legendary side-musicians of the day. Some of these recordings were forgotten for nearly 50 years. American company “Reelin’ In The Years Productions” have re-discovered and produced them and after being digitally re-mastered from high quality, original masters with excellent sound and film quality, they are now presented on DVD by TDK.

Each of the nine titles in the illustrious series features 60-90 minute performances by Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Buddy Rich or Chet Baker. They were all produced with the full support and cooperation of the artists or their estates, which in most cases contributed rare personal photographs, memorabilia, and forewords. The DVDs are available individually and each comes with a 16-page booklet including an essay written by an authoritative jazz historian.

Among the wealth of highlights in the Jazz Icon DVD series are two incredible Quincy Jones concerts (filmed in 1960) featuring an 18-piece band that Quincy later described as his “dream band,” which included some of the finest musicians in jazz - Phil Woods, Clark Terry & Sahib Shihab.

Another highlight is a staggering one hour Art Blakey concert with what many jazz historians consider to be his most important ensemble, the legendary 1958 Jazz Messengers with Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Bobby Timmons and Jymie Merritt – a line-up that was only together for six months. The Jazz Icon series also features two exceptional Ella Fitzgerald concerts, including the earliest known complete Ella show (filmed in Belgium in 1957) and an intimate in-studio appearance with the pianist Tommy Flanagan taped in Sweden in 1963. Also featured in the series are two superb 1966 Thelonious Monk concerts filmed three days apart in Norway and Denmark.
Further concerts include a riveting hour-long Count Basie show from Sweden taped in 1962 featuring the phenomenal drumming of Sonny Payne. Dizzy Gillespie is represented by two historic concerts: the first from Belgium in 1958, with a quintet including saxophonist Sonny Stitt, and the second from 1970 in Denmark fronting the legendary Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. The Buddy Rich DVD boasts a thunderous 1978 concert taped in Holland and featuring members of Buddy’s “Killer Force,” the group he would later call “the best band I ever had.” Chet Baker is represented by two concerts filmed 15 years apart including a haunting 1964 show in a Belgian TV studio and a soulful 1979 set from Norway. Rounding off the DVD series is one of the only known complete Louis Armstrong concerts from the 1950s to be captured on film. This 1959 concert, filmed in Belgium and backed by his stellar band, the All-Stars, captures the great man in all his glory as both a jazz pioneer and an entertainer without peer.

TDK has released an extensive Jazz catalogue on DVD, including legendary Jazz live-recordings of jazz masters like Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Lionel Hampton, Archie Shepp, Stan Getz, Oscar Peterson, Stéphane Grappeli, Cedar Walton, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Gil Evans, Eliane Elias, Horace Silver, Ahmad Jamal, Paco de Lucia, Bobby McFerrin, McCoy Tyner and Joe Zawinul.

You can also buy the individual DVDs by visiting our Jazz Icons Store .


Studio TDK Dvd Video
SKU 203368792
UPC 824121002053
UPC 14 00824121002053
Format DVD
Release Date 10/24/2006
Name Jazz Icons
Link Search Link
Product Attributes
Actor Jazz Icons
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD

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Recent Product Reviews

Superb Collection by M. Henderson on Mar 27, 2007