Jazz on Video

For those of you who enjoyed the Ken Burns documentary and/or are fans of the documentary form, we have come up with a list of available videos that we feel compliment Burns' epic.

For EARLY JAZZ OVERVIEWS, try BMG's excellent The Story of Jazz which begins it's story in the 1830's (BMG-$19.99). Chicago and All That Jazz discusses just that, with focus on Meade Lux Lewis, Jack Teagarden, Red Allen, Eddie Condon, Gene Krupa and more (VJC-$24.99). Shanachie Entertainment has put together 2 fine documentaries about the jazz era: The Jazz Age discusses America's change in morals and manners from the end of WWI to the great crash of 1929, while Storyville-The Naked Dance explores the legendary New Orleans red light district and the genesis of jazz (both VHS-$19.99; Storyville also on DVD-$23.99). Sing On-New Orleans Brass Bands contains the earliest known footage of a Mardi Gras celebration (1914), as well as footage from the same event in 1928 and 1929. Also featured is footage from 2 jazz funerals of brass band heroes-Papa Celestin & Alphonse Picou (American Music-$29.99). Baby Dodds-New Orleans Drumming, is an in-depth look into the New Orleans drumming greats including rare footage of the greatest of drummers (American Music-$29.99).

In the days before television, jazz musicians reached their audience through "SOUNDIES", or short films featuring the hot bands of the day. There are a number of film collections available, notably, At the Jazz Band Ball, featuring Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke, Bessie Smith, etc, from 1925-1933 (Yazoo-$19.99 or DVD-$23.99), or Harlem Roots Volume 2-the Headliners with performances by Fats Waller (4), Louis Jordan (10) and Louis Armstrong (5) (Storyville-$19.99). Swing-Volume One, also from Storyville Films, includes outtakes from feature films by artists Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Jack Teagarden, Hoagy Carmichael, Stan Kenton, and Jimmy Dorsey ($19.99).

The award winning DOCUMENTARY A Great Day in Harlem is now on DVD ($28.99-or VHS-$24.99), as is Jazz on a Summer's Day, with 1958 Newport festival performances by Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day, Thelonious Monk, Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington and Chuck Berry ($28.99), while Monterey Jazz Festival-40 Legendary Years features discussions and performances by Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong and Sarah Vaughan. (VHS-$19.99 or DVD-$24.99). The classic TV show The Sound of Jazz with Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Rex Stewart and Roy Eldridge has never been topped. It is now available on VHS as Atlantic's Vintage Collection Vol.1 and also includes performances by Count Basie, Red Allen, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Rushing and Jimmy Giuffre (19.99). Volume 2 features Miles Davis (with John Coltrane), Ben Webster, Ahmad Jamal and the Gil Evans Big Band with the Miles Davis quintet (also $19.99 or order both volumes for just $29.99!)

For those looking for documentaries about ONE ARTIST, there are many-most notably Lady Day-The Many Faces of Billie Holiday (Kultur-$19.99 or DVD-$29.99), Satchmo: The Louis Armstrong Story (Columbia-$19.99 or DVD-$19.99), Memories of Duke (Atlantic-$19.99) Celebrating Bird about Charlie Parker (Kultur-$19.99), Saxophone Collosus featuring Sonny Rollins (WinStar-VHS $19.99) or DVD-$24.99), Art Pepper-Notes from a Jazz Survivor (Shanachie VHS-$19.99 or DVD-$23.99), Triumph of an Underdog an award- winning documentary on Charles Mingus (Shanachie VHS-$19.99 or DVD-$23.99), Last Date covers Eric Dolphy (Rhapsody-$19.99) or Solo Flight discussing guitar great Charlie Christian (View-$19.99). You have two John Coltrane documentaries to choose from: The World According to John Coltrane (BMG-$19.99) and The Coltrane Legacy (VAI-$31.99). Blue Note has released a piece on Dexter Gordon entitled More Than You Know ($19.99), and the indispensible Straight, No Chaser documents a European tour by Thelonious Monk (WHV-$15.99 or DVD-$19.99).

If you prefer straight footage of your favorites in a PERFORMANCE setting, look no further than Ralph Gleason's short-lived television series from the early 60's, lovingly restored by Rhino films. Each 30 minute show retails for $15.99. They include individual shows with performances and interviews by Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer w/ Jim Hall, Jimmy Witherspoon w/ Ben Webster and Dave Brubeck. There are also DVDs available which combine 3 shows onto one DVD - The Instrumentalists: Basie, Diz and Trane; and The Vocalists: Carmen McRae, Mel Torme & Jimmy Rushing; each $29.99, with more due out this year. Similarly, the Jazz Scene USA TV shows from the same era, hosted by Oscar Brown Jr., have been released by Shanachie and include two 30 minute programs on one VHS (19.99) or DVD (23.99). The pairings are: Cannonball Adderley / Teddy Edwards, Frank Rosalino / Stan Kenton, Phineas Newborn Jr. / Jimmy Smith and Shelly Manne / Shorty Rogers (this one not on DVD, yet...). Also worth mentioning are Ben Webster in Europe (Rhapsody-$19.99) and Buck Clayton's All stars-1961 (it's out of print, but we have a few left at $12.99). At the Tivoli is Benny Goodman in a later day performance (Kultur-$19.99).

We can also offer the complete 10 volume KEN BURNS' JAZZ on VHS for $129.99 or the 10 DVD set for $169.99.

These are but a sampling of our VHS/DVD stock. We hope to have a more complete listing available in catalogue form in the near future, so ask for one, or if you've got a certain title in mind...we probably have it.

BLUES FANS: On a different, yet related note...even though it's out of print, we have a few remaining copies of the classic documentary on Chicago's Maxwell Street, And This is Free left. And to tie it in with the excellent new 3 CD And This is Maxwell Street box from Rooster Blues, we'll offer them as a combo deal for $40.00 (individually the video is $19.99 and the CD set is $27.99)

You can order any of these items from the Jazz Record Mart -- call (800)684-3480.

If you're in Chicago, you can also join us for free film screenings in March & April