As more and more DVD's are released and sold every day here at JRM, we are going to try to keep you up to date on some new and hopefully interesting releases.
First off from Lance Entertainment #82055 ($24.99) Dave Brubeck Returns to Moscow. Jazz, once banned in the Soviet Union, is revered as the voice of freedom. This DVD documents the travels and performances of the "Jazz Ambassador of Good Will" Dave Brubeck. The DVD revolves around Brubeck's performance with the Russian National Orchestra at Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory of Music. This is mainly a "greatest hits" performance. Included are interviews with Brubeck, members of the quartet and Russian musicians. Approximate running time 2 hours.
Image Entertainment brings us two new titles that have both played successfully on the festival circuit. The first is, Horace Parlan by Horace Parlan #1505 ($19.99). This documentary by Don McGlynn paints a deep portrait of Parlan where none have bothered to before. Through performance and interview clips we see the connections between the events in Parlan's life and his compositions. Especially compelling is his battle with polio at age five and the paralysis it caused to his right side. This documentary will hopefully call attention to the depth of Parlan's artistry and the obstacles he overcame. There is also a CD companion soundtrack to this film available on Cope records #0015.
In the same vein from Image is The Legend of Teddy Edwards Image#1504 ($19.99) also directed by Don McGlynn. Teddy Edwards would have a right to be bitter but, he isn't. He is without a doubt one of the greatest tenors axophonists to come out of the bebop era. This documentary illustrates his greatness. Edwards has played with Howard McGhee, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Benny Goodman and more recently Tom Waits. This documentary was filmed over two days coupling in-depth interviews with studio performances. The viewer is left with a very positive, life affirming feeling after spending 85 minuteswith Teddy Edwards. This film also has a companion soundtrack CD available on Cope #016.
Also of note is the DVD release of 5 Guys Named Moe by Louis Jordan and the Tympany Five.This was released originally on video only but now is available on DVD. As a documentary it fails. The film barely scratches the surface and I came away knowing nothing more about Louis Jordan, BUT The performances are FANTASTIC! The group performs full length versions of some of their biggest hits plus some not so big. This works as just a collection of "soundies" ( juke boxes that combined sound and film). The performances are great and the acting shows that Louis made the right choice with a career in music. Also included are clips of Cab Calloway, The King Cole Trio and a very young Sammy Davis Jr. The running time is 48 minutes.
Last but not least is a new series from BMG Special Products called "The Masters
of American Music." The five most recent titles are:
The World According to John Coltrane #80067 59 minutes ($16.99) This is the first documentary on John Coltrane that has the full cooperation of Alice Coltrane. Special guest artists include: Roscoe Mitchell, Wayne Shorter and Alice Coltrane.
Thelonious Monk American Composer #72333 60 minutes ($16.99)contains footage of Monk at Minton's Playhouse in New York City. Special guests include: Randy Weston, Barry Harris and Billy Taylor.
Sarah Vaughan The Devine One #80066 60 minutes ($16.99)Special guests include: Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine and Roy Haynes
The Story Of Jazz #80088 97 minutes ($16.99)Includes performances by: Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Willie Smith, Jimmie Lunceford, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis and many others.
Bluesland #80087 85 minutes (16.99)A great collection of footage including: Son House, Leadbelly (in color),T-Bone Walker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Jimmy Rushing.
Well, That's it for now. Just remember that these DVD titles and many more are just a phone call away.
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All reviewed items are available from the Jazz Record Mart, 1-800-684-3480.